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Physical activity cuts diabetic retinopathy risk

02 Aug 2019

Individuals engaging in physical activity appear to have a lower risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR), whereas those who are sedentary have an increased risk, according to the results of a meta-analysis.

Researchers searched multiple online databases for relevant studies and identified 22 for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The total study population comprised 63,936 individuals from the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. Follow-up duration varied among the studies, and the longest was 15 years.

Pooled data showed a protective association between physical activity and diabetic retinopathy (risk ratio [RR], 0.94, 95 percent CI, 0.90–0.98; p=0.005) among patients with diabetes. Notably, the effect of physical activity was more pronounced on vision-threatening disease (RR, 0.89, 0.80–0.98; p=0.02).

Sedentary behaviour appeared to have an opposite effect, elevating the risk of the diabetic eye disease by nearly 20 percent (RR, 1.18, 1.01–1.37; p=0.04).

With respect to physical activity intensity, activities of moderate intensity were more likely to be beneficial on the risk of diabetic retinopathy (RR, 0.76, 0.58–1.00; p=0.05) than those of low and high intensity.

Neither Egger’s regression test (p=0.06) nor Begg’s rank correlation test (p=0.46) detected any publication bias.

The present data highlight the importance of being physically active among patients with diabetes, according to the researchers. Moderate-intensity physical activity is recommended, while sedentary lifestyle should be avoided.

Additional research is needed to establish the causality between physical activity and diabetic retinopathy, as well as consider the possible mechanisms.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 11 Sep 2019

Beta-blockers could reduce mortality risk in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and moderate or moderately-severe renal dysfunction without causing harm, according to the BB-META-HF* trial presented at ESC 2019.

Elvira Manzano, 3 days ago

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), in an update of its 2013 recommendations, called on clinicians to offer risk-reducing medications to women who are at increased risk for breast cancer but at low risk for adverse effects.

Pearl Toh, 4 days ago
The use of SGLT-2* inhibitors was not associated with a higher risk of severe or nonsevere urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared with DPP**-4 inhibitors or GLP-1*** receptor agonists, a population-based cohort study shows.
14 Sep 2019
In type 2 diabetes patients taking sulfonylureas, hypoglycaemia duration is longer at night and is inversely correlated with the level of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), a new study reports.