Short bouts of high intensity exercise before breakfast, lunch and dinner helps control blood sugar levels in people with insulin resistance more effectively than one session of 30 min moderate intensity training according to a study recently published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).1 The researchers have found that these “exercise snacks” before meals reduce blood sugar spikes after meals.
In the middle of July, I travelled to the city of Antwerp in Belgium for our project OptimEx. OptimEx is a multicenter study focusing on exercise as medicine for diastolic heart failure. OptimEx is a collaboration between CERG at NTNU, Technische Universität München, Antwerp University Hospital, Universität Leipzig and University of Graz.
In this project several measurements will be done on our patients, among some; blood sampling, VO2 max testing, ultrasound of the heart, and vascular function measurements of the arteries. Since this will be an international study it is important that everything is standardized and that every center collects and processes the data in the exact same way. Only then will we be able when analyzing our data to compare the results from the different centers and know that the results we find are actual, and not due to variation in the data collection. This is crucial in research and an important part in planning the project.
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We are now on our way out of the most severe epidemic in the Western world’s modern history – the heart attack epidemic. At the start of the 1900’s, heart disease was relatively rare, but from before World War II until the 1970’s there was a marked increase of deaths due to heart disease. In the 70’s every fourth Norwegian man died of heart disease before the age of 75. From the 70’s on, the incidence gradually declined and around year 2000 we were roughly back at the same incidence rate as before World War II. What was it that caused this huge increase in heart disease and why have the incidence rates been on the decrease again during the last 30 years?
Vi er nå på vei ut av den mest alvorlige epidemien i den vestlige verdens moderne historie – hjerteinfarktepidemien. På starten av 1900-tallet var hjertesykdom en relativt sjelden sykdom, men fra før andre verdenskrig og frem til 1970-tallet var det en mangedobling av dødsfall grunnet hjertesykdom. På 70-tallet døde hver fjerde norske mann av hjertesykdom før fylte 75 år. Etter 70-tallet har forekomsten gradvis avtatt og rundt år 2000 var forekomsten tilbake omtrent der den var før andre verdenskrig. Hva var det som forårsaket denne voldsomme epidemien og hvorfor har forekomsten gått så mye ned igjen de siste 30 årene?