Physical activity reduced mortality rate in adults with diabetes

Prognoses for adults with diabetes are likely to improve with increased moderate physical activity, translating to lower death rates from cardiovascular disease and all causes, according to findings from a study in Great Britain published in Diabetes Care.

Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes were drawn from representative general population samples from the Health Survey for England and Scottish Health Survey conducted between 1997 and 2008. Researchers looked at 3,038 participants aged ≤50 years at baseline to examine associations between specific types of physical activity and all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

Data were collected on self-reported frequency, duration and intensity of participation in sports and exercise, walking and domestic physical activity. Researchers recoded specific physical activity types into intensity levels based on a ratio of work metabolic rate to a metabolic rate at rest of 1.0 and calculated sex-specific medians of time spent in each type of activity. Patients were followed up for 75 months for all-cause and CVD mortality, with type-specific associations examined through Cox proportional hazards regression.

Of the participants, 40% met the physical activity recommendation guidelines and 33% reported no physical activity. Those who reported some activity, but below the recommended amount, or who met the physical activity recommendations had a 26% (95% CI, 39-11) and 35% (95% CI, 47-21) lower all-cause mortality, respectively, compared with those who were inactive.

Sports and exercise and above-average levels of walking were inversely associated with all-cause, but not CVD, mortality. Domestic physical activity was not associated with mortality.

Disclosures: The Scottish Health Survey was funded by the Scottish Executive. The Health Survey for England was funded by both the U.K. Department of Health and Health and Social Care Information.