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New research published in the British Medical Journal reveals that disparities in the incidence of type 2 diabetes between people of different socioeconomic statuses may be explained in large part by lifestyle differences. These findings may be relevant to people who screen positive for the metabolic disorder through a blood test.
For the study, a team of scientists followed more than 7,200 middle-aged adults for about 14 years. None of the subjects had diabetes at the beginning of the trial period.
The researchers collected information on the study participants' body mass indexes, biological risk factors for diabetes, socioeconomic status and health behaviors, such as diet and level of physical activity.
By the end of the study, 818 subjects developed type 2 diabetes, with people in the lowest strata being nearly two times more likely to have the disease than those in the highest.
Data analysis revealed that health behaviors and body mass indexes accounted for 45 percent of this disparity.
"Given the increasing burden of type 2 diabetes and the observed increase in social inequalities in prevalence of type 2 diabetes, further efforts to tackle these factors are urgently needed," the researchers wrote.
People who are unsure of their diabetes risk can take a blood test to find out how likely they are to develop the condition.
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