Risto Erkkola

, University Central Hospital of Turku, Finland
Title : Exercise and Fasting for Elderly Persons with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)


Recent estimates predict that the number of people with diabetes across the world will increase from the current 415 mill to 642 mill in 2040. Consequently, the global economic burden is estimated to rise from 1,2 trillion US$ to 2.2 trillion US$ by 2030.
In Finland, there are about 500000 diabetic patients (9% of population), of which c. 75% have T2D. About 90% of T2D patients are using medical treatment. The size of the group at risk for T2D is about 700000 persons (age 40-80 years). They and T2D patients are the target groups for lifestyle interventions, which include 1) losing weight, 2) reducing fat and sugar from the diet, 3) reducing stressful lifestyle. The best natural ways to lose weight is caloric restriction and increase the physical activity (PA). UKK-institute in Finland promotes  healthy lifestyle and health enhancing PA. Their guidelines for PA for over 65-year old persons include: moderate PA 2h30min/week or vigorous PA 1h15min/week, and muscle strengthening, balance training and flexibility training 2 times/week. Light PA is suggested as often as possible, breaks to sedentary behavior whenever possible and sufficiently restorative sleep. Communities offer services in public gyms, swimming pools, and on running, skiing and skating tracks free of charge for citizen of 65 years or more. The slow weight loss due to increased PA may disappoint: although the amount of total and visceral fat decreases, the muscular growth slows down weight loss. Robust diets of 500-1200 are kcal/day are hard to keep. The Mediterranean  diet and the New Nordic diet lead in the efficient weight loss (published in 2004) and are rich in nutritient-dense, mostly plant foods and low in energy-dense, mainly of animal origin foods. Combining PA and caloric restriction may make the use of medications unnecessary in half of the T2D patients.


MD 1970, Specialist Ob-Gyn 1975, Ph.D 1976, Ob-Gyn Fellowship UCLA 1978-80, Board/President Finn Gyn Assoc 1989-99, President Finn Menopause Soc 1995-97, EBCOG Council 1997-2001, EAGO Exec Board 2001-03, UPIGO Exec Board 2001-03, Nord Menop Assoc Exec Board 2001-. Professor and Chairman, Dept Ob-Gyn, University Hospital, Turku, Finland 1994-2010. EMAS Exec Board 2019-2021. 380 peer reviewed publications, 120 reviews or chapters, H-index 46 (Research Gate).