The impact of physical activity on mitigation of health care costs related to diabetes mellitus: findings from developed and developing settings Diabetes mellitus and physical exercise
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Over the last decades, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) has been increasing globally such that nowadays the disease constitutes an important outcome related to early mortality among adults. In parallel with the high prevalence, healthcare costs related to DM treatment have increased significantly, exacerbating its burden on modern society. The scientific literature points out that obesity and physical inactivity have a central role in the development of most DM cases. In fact, either physical exercise practice or an increase in the level of physical activity, constitute relevant tools in the guidelines for treatment of the disease. On the other hand, the effect of physical activity on the economic consequences of DM is not completely clear. The identification of the actual burden of lifestyle changes on the reduction of healthcare costs related to DM is relevant, primarily for developing nations, where it could represent a cheaper strategy for treating the disease and its complications than paying for drug treatment, which is commonly related to collateral effects. That being said, the prevention of DM and other diseases and consequently the mitigation of the costs related to these outcomes seem to depend essentially on the promotion of healthy habits. The aim of the present review was therefore to discuss recent evidence on the effects of physical activity/exercise on mitigation of health care cost related to DM.