Yanbo Zhang, Xiong-Fei Pan, Junxiang Chen, Lu Xia, Anlan Cao, Yuge Zhang, Jing Wang, Huiqi Li, Kun Yang, Kunquan Guo, Meian He, An Pan
Maintaining a healthy body weight and diet, keeping physically active, and avoiding smoking and heavy drinking have been reported to be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and with a lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease among individuals with diabetes. However, no study has systematically summarised the current evidence, and variability existed across studies. In this issue, Zhang et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-04985-9) report the results of a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies investigating the relationship of combined lifestyle factors with incident type 2 diabetes and with mortality and morbidity in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Individuals with the healthiest lifestyle according to different lifestyle factors had a 75% lower risk of incident type 2 diabetes than those with the least-healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, among individuals with diabetes, adopting the healthiest lifestyle was associated with risk reductions of 31–56% for total and cause-specific deaths and incident cardiovascular disease. According to the authors, these findings indicate that promotion of comprehensive healthy lifestyle factors should be a public health priority for all countries.