Healthy lifestyle, high Life's Essential 8 score protective in people with type 2 diabetes

01 Sep 2023
heart protection

For individuals with type 2 diabetes, leading a healthy lifestyle and scoring high on the American Heart Association (AHA)’s Life's Essential 8 (LE8) metric can lead to lower risks of developing macrovascular and microvascular diseases, as shown in a study.

Using data from the UK Biobank, researchers looked at 13,543 participants with type 2 diabetes and were free of macrovascular and microvascular diseases at baseline. A healthy lifestyle was assessed based on body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, sleep duration, and diet. Life's Essential 8 scores (0–100) were generated from eight metrics including includes four health behaviours (diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, and sleep health) and four health factors (BMI, blood lipids, blood glucose, and blood pressure) to assess cardiovascular health.

Over a median follow‐up of 12.1 years, 3,279 (24.2 percent) participants had incident macrovascular diseases and 2,557 (18.9 percent) had microvascular diseases. Cox proportional hazards models showed that participants with an ideal vs poor lifestyle had significantly lower risks of incident macrovascular disease (hazard ratio [HR], 0.46, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.36–0.59) and microvascular disease (HR, 0.60, 95 percent CI, 0.47–0.77).

Likewise, participants in the high vs low cardiovascular health group (Life's Essential 8 scores: 80–100 vs 0–49) were at significantly low risks of macrovascular disease (HR, 0.20, 95 percent CI, 0.05–0.79) and microvascular disease (HR, 0.24, 95 percent CI, 0.06–0.98).

Further analysis indicated that adherence to an ideal lifestyle could prevent 37.0 percent of macrovascular disease and 24.7 percent of microvascular disease, whereas attaining a high cardiovascular health could prevent 71.9 percent of macrovascular disease and 67.5 percent of microvascular disease.

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