More Health Professionals Are Encouraging Patients to Exercise

When it comes to advising patients with or at risk for diabetes to exercise, health professionals are getting a passing grade.

“Health professionals advised most patients with or at highest risk for diabetes to exercise, suggesting recognition of its importance for disease management,” say researchers at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. “As risk factors declined, fewer patients were advised to exercise, suggesting missed opportunities for disease prevention.”

In a 2002 survey, 26,878 adults responded when asked about ever receiving advice from health professionals to exercise more. The researchers report that a total of 73 percent of adults with diabetes were told by a health professional to exercise more, as opposed to 31 percent of adults without diabetes.

“The proportion receiving advice increased as the number of diabetes risk factors increased, until reaching similar rates as people with diabetes,” write the researchers. “The strongest correlates of receiving advice were body mass index and cardiovascular risk factors.”

Among respondents with diabetes, the likelihood of receiving advice did not vary by age, sex, education or income level, but it was less likely to be received by Hispanic patients.

Diabetes Care, March 2006

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