Association of a lifestyle score with cardiometabolic markers among individuals with diabetes: a cross-sectional study


To investigate the associations of a lifestyle score with various cardiovascular risk markers, indicators for fatty liver disease as well as MRI-determined total, subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue mass in adults with new-onset diabetes.

Research design and methods

This cross-sectional analysis included 196 individuals with type 1 (median age: 35 years; median body mass index (BMI): 24 kg/m²) and 272 with type 2 diabetes (median age: 53 years; median BMI: 31 kg/m²) from the German Diabetes Study. A healthy lifestyle score was generated based on healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, recreational activity, non-smoking and non-obese BMI. These factors were summed to form a score ranging from 0 to 5.


In total, 8.1% of the individuals adhered to none or one, 17.7% to two, 29.7% to three, 26.7% to four, and 17.7% to all five favorable lifestyle factors. High compared with low adherence to the lifestyle score was associated with more favorable outcome measures, including triglycerides (β (95% CI) -49.1 mg/dL (-76.7; -21.4)), low-density lipoprotein (-16.7 mg/dL (-31.3; -2.0)), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (13.5 mg/dL (7.6; 19.4)), glycated hemoglobin (-0.5% (-0.8%; -0.1%)), high-sensitivity C reactive protein (-0.4 mg/dL (-0.6; -0.2)), as well as lower hepatic fat content (-8.3% (-11.9%; -4.7%)), and visceral adipose tissue mass (-1.8 dm³ (-2.9; -0.7)). The dose-response analyses showed that adherence to every additional healthy lifestyle factor was associated with more beneficial risk profiles.


Adherence to each additional healthy lifestyle factor was beneficially associated with cardiovascular risk markers, indicators of fatty liver disease and adipose tissue mass. Strongest associations were observed for adherence to all healthy lifestyle factors in combination.

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