Apple Health Research Shares New Analysis Ahead of World Diabetes Day

Ahead of World Diabetes Day on November 14, two long-term Apple health studies provide new data on glucose and people's concerns. living with diabetes.

The latest analysis results from updates to the Apple Heart and Movement Study and Apple Women's Health Study, which were launched in 2019.

The updates explain how continuous glucose monitors “can help people with diabetes gain insight into how different foods, activities, and life stressors affect glucose levels.” When this data is complemented with Apple Watch data on activity, steps, sleep and menstrual cycles, it creates an even greater treasure trove of information.

Here are some highlights from updates from the Apple Heart and Movement Study and the Apple Women's Health Study:

  • When participants increased the average duration of exercise or the average number of steps taken on a given day, there was an increase in the average percentage of time that glucose levels fell within the target range of 70–180 mg/dL.
  • People who exercised more than 30 minutes per day spent 78.8% of the time in the target range range 70-180 mg/dl.
  • Participants who identified as women and took more than 10,000 steps per day saw the most time spent in the target range of 70–180 mg/dL, compared to 76.4% of participants who identified as men.
  • An analysis examining 1982 menstrual cycles found a slight increase in the duration of glucose levels maintained in the desired range of 70–180 mg/dL during the follicular phase. This is characterized by lower levels of progesterone (68.5% per day), in contrast to the luteal phase, where the percentage was slightly lower at 66.8% per day. 
  • Participants also spent slightly less time higher range during the follicular phase (28.9%) compared to the luteal phase (30.9%).

Calum MacRae, cardiologist, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and principal investigator of the Apple Study Heart and Movement at Brigham and Women's Hospital:

Enabling users to change their physiology in the right direction is the fundamental basis of precision health and medicine. Apple Watch allows users to determine how best to reduce their cardiometabolic risk.

These findings suggest that exercise at the right level can improve the way each of us manages metabolic problems to reduce the risk of developing diabetes or improve control diabetes if it develops.

It's great to see that the integration of exercise and CGM data through Apple HealthKit allows users to improve their glucose control and reduce their risk of future cardiovascular disease.

Read more:

  • World Diabetes Day: Glucose Response to Activity and the Menstrual Cycle

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