October 11, 2017 – Walkability and Diabetes


Anchor lead: How does your neighborhood affect your risk of diabetes? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Do you walk around your neighborhood, or does it lack sidewalks, lighting, and safety, rendering it essentially unwalkable? That factor turns out to have a lot to do with whether you develop prediabetes or diabetes, a study presented at the recent European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting found. Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, explains the findings.

Kalyani: They looked at walkability in neighborhoods and the relationship to the development of prediabetes and diabetes. Though there were differences in ethnicities, non-Western populations versus Western populations, in terms of their incidence of prediabetes, this difference was most marked in the least walkability areas. What this means is that for some reason, having areas that were less walkable resulted in more prediabetes in some of these minority populations.  :28

Kalyani says the minority populations were largely immigrants, and right now no one knows why they are disproportionately affected by neighborhoods that aren’t walkable. For now, she recommends that everyone strive for 10,000 steps each day to reduce their risk of diabetes. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.