Washington: The neighbourhood in which you live could determine your risk for developing diabetes, say researchers.Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences found this risk was particularly high for new immigrants living in low-income neighbourhoods.A new immigrant living in a less walkable neighbourhood – fewer destinations within a 10-minute walk, lower residential density, poorly connected streets – was about 50 per cent more likely to develop diabetes when compared to long-term residents living in the most walkable areas, regardless of neighbourhood income.“Although diabetes can be prevented through physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss, we found the environment in which one lives is also an important indicator for determining risk,” said Dr. Gillian Booth, an endocrinologist and researcher at St. Michael’s and lead author of the study.For new immigrants, environment is an especially important factor as past research has shown an accelerated risk of obesity-related conditions including diabetes within the first 10 years of arrival to Canada, said Dr. Booth, who is also an adjunct scientist at ICES.
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