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For pre-diabetics, just 2,000 steps a day cuts heart attack risk

Published on Dec 20, 2013 9:16 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - People who are already on the way to developing diabetes could significantly reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by walking for just an extra 20 minutes a day for a year, scientists said on Friday.

A large international study of people with a condition called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) - a precursor to diabetes - found that taking an extra 2,000 steps a day over one year cut the risk of serious heart illness by 8 per cent.

IGT affects around 344 million people worldwide, or almost 8 per cent of adults, and this number is projected to rise to 472 million by 2030 as populations grow and age and unhealthy diets contribute to increasing rates of diabetes.

"People with IGT have a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease," said Thomas Yates of Britain's University of Leicester, who led the research.

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