News in brief: Endocrinologist in 2022 Australia Day Honours List; Any exercise better than none to prevent T2D; Vitamin D supplements wasted on the general population

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2022

Endocrinologist in 2022 Australia Day Honours List

The Australia Day 2022 Honours List recognises WA endocrinologist Professor Bronwyn Stuckey as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to medical research, to endocrinology, and to women’s health.

Professor Stuckey is a consultant physician in Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Medical Director of the Keogh Institute for Medical Research and Clinical Professor in the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia. Her clinical and research interests have included the menopause, reproductive hormones, osteoporosis and metabolism.

Any exercise better than none to prevent T2D

Don’t stress about the stretch goal of 10,000 steps per day as even lower but more achievable goals reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in older people.

Data from almost 5,000 participants (mean age 79 years) in the Women’s Health Initiative found an extra 2,000 steps per day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 12%.

Not surprisingly, there was a greater effect with stepping at a higher intensity than light intensity.

“This finding further supports emerging evidence that some physical activity on a regular basis is better than none and that moving more and at higher intensity is optimal for reducing one’s risk of diabetes, irrespective of age,” the study said.

“Steps per day–based interventions are needed to advance diabetes prevention science in older adults.”

Read more in Diabetes Care

Vitamin D supplements wasted on the general population

Monthly vitamin D supplements do not increase the life expectancy in unscreened older Australians, according to research from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

A RCT of oral vitamin D (60,000 IU / month) versus placebo in 21,315 adults 60-79 years found mortality was 5.3% after five years of the intervention and 5.1% after placebo.

The HR of vitamin D3 effect on all-cause mortality was 1.04 [95% CI 0·93 to 1·18]; p=0·47), on cardiovascular disease mortality was 0·96 (95% CI 0·72 to 1·28; p=0·77) and on cancer mortality was 1·15 (95% CI 0·96 to 1·39; p=0·13).

Lead researcher Professor Rachel Neale said vitamin D deficiency is harmful for bone and muscle health, and may carry other health risks.

“However, most Australians are not vitamin D deficient according to current guidelines, and the D-Health Trial suggests that if people are not deficient, taking vitamin D does not increase the chance of living for longer.”

Read more in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

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