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Sport as therapy for diabetics and cardiovascular patients?
Sport counteracts common diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. According to Techniker Krankenkassen (TK), the positive health effects of physical exercise are undisputed. In a current TK study with diabetics and cardiovascular sufferers, it was now "for the first time outside of a clinical study" that sport "vital health parameters improve in the long term even in older age." Corresponding sports programs could "become a significant one Help reduce healthcare costs. "
The basis of the TK study is the “Sport as Therapy” program by the Munich sports doctor Professor Dr. Martin Halle. For three years now, the TK insured has had the opportunity to participate in the program, which has been supported scientifically from the very beginning, the health insurance company reports. The task was to “check whether the performance of seriously ill people could be increased in the long term,” continued the TK announcement. According to the first interim results, the program was convincing in this regard. There was a comprehensive improvement in crucial health parameters in diabetics and cardiovascular sufferers.
Weight and abdominal circumference reduced, performance increased. According to Jens Baas, "it was about developing an everyday program that is based on personal responsibility and helps people to cope better with their everyday life." Professor Halle's program obviously met these requirements and also significantly improved the Health status of the participants. The interim results after three years of research show that in the course of the six-month training in the patients, who were on average 65 years old, both the weight and the abdominal circumference, as well as the cholesterol values and the long-term blood sugar value improved. Furthermore, the oxygen intake per kilogram of body weight increased significantly and "the (measured in watts) performance increased significantly among the participants," said the TK. In addition, diabetics were able to significantly reduce their insulin consumption thanks to the sport.
Decreased insulin requirements for diabetics According to the TK, the increase in performance after six months of training was almost ten percent, “Insulin requirements decreased by almost half (46 percent) and the heart rate improved to the same extent as if the patients were given the appropriate medication The 62-year-old participant in the sports program, Marianne Deubzer from Munich, is quoted in the TK press release as saying that the program motivated her to exercise more. "I have reduced my weight and injected significantly less insulin," the 62-year-old continued. "The results show that we are on the right track with a mixture of sports medical care, active training support and motivating coaching," emphasized Baas, chairman of the TK board, when presenting the study results in Berlin.
Reduction in health expenditure through sport? "With our study, we can now confirm for the first time on the patient care level that sport significantly improves the performance and the cardiovascular risk profile for cardiovascular patients and diabetics", Professor Halle is pleased about the success of the program. The news agency "dpa", citing the chairman of the TK, reports that sport could also curb the high increases in drug expenditure. The treatment of cardiovascular diseases alone would cost 40 billion euros a year. In addition, the amount of prescribed medication in this area has almost doubled since 2000. According to the current study results, the costs incurred here could probably be significantly reduced through appropriate sports programs.
Sports therapy also for cancer patients? In view of the success of the sports program for diabetics and cardiovascular patients, Techniker Krankenkasse has already announced that it will also offer a similar program for cancer patients this autumn. (fp)
Image: www.hamburg-fotos-bilder.de / pixelio.de