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Structured exercise regimen helps diabetes patients

May 4, 2011
Researchers have found that when people with type 2 diabetes have a structured exercise program they have more success in lowering their blood sugar, according to the May issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study's senior author, Dr. Beatriz Schaan, a medical school professor at the Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil, said diabetes patients would benefit most from reaching about 150 minutes of exercise weekly. An analysis of 47 clinical trials involving more than 8,500 showed that exercising for longer periods was better at lowering sugar levels than in a shorter, more intensive regimen.

"We always tell patients, even those without diabetes, that it's important to exercise, but we don't tell them how. It would be good if we were able to prescribe an exercise program for our patients to follow," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "Exercise improves insulin sensitivity; it makes insulin work better."

The North Shore-LIJ Health System and the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City just announced they have formed an alliance to share best practices in health care for communities in the NYC metropolitan area.
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