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07-19-2017 | Lifestyle intervention | Review | Article

Environmental/lifestyle factors in the pathogenesis and prevention of type 2 diabetes

Journal:
BMC Medicine

Authors: Hubert Kolb, Stephan Martin

Publisher: BioMed Central

Abstract

Environmental and lifestyle changes, in addition to the ageing of populations, are generally believed to account for the rapid global increase in type 2 diabetes prevalence and incidence in recent decades.
In this review, we present a comprehensive overview of factors contributing to diabetes risk, including aspects of diet quality and quantity, little physical activity, increased monitor viewing time or sitting in general, exposure to noise or fine dust, short or disturbed sleep, smoking, stress and depression, and a low socioeconomic status. In general, these factors promote an increase in body mass index. Since loss of β-cell function is the ultimate cause of developing overt type 2 diabetes, environmental and lifestyle changes must have resulted in a higher risk of β-cell damage in those at genetic risk. Multiple mechanistic pathways may come into play.
Strategies of diabetes prevention should aim at promoting a ‘diabetes-protective lifestyle’ whilst simultaneously enhancing the resistance of the human organism to pro-diabetic environmental and lifestyle factors. More research on diabetes-protective mechanisms seems warranted.

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