In patients with type 1 diabetes, the odds of not participating in physical activity appear to be increased by poor self-reported general health, increased BMI and depressive symptoms, according to recent study findings.
Researchers reviewed data on 7,153 adults with type 1 diabetes (mean age, 37 years; 54% women; mean diabetes duration, 19.44 years; mean HbA1c, 7.9%) enrolled in the Type One Diabetes Exchange Clinic Registry, which includes patients from 67. U.S.-based pediatric and adult endocrinology practices. Participants included for the analysis had complete self-reported data on physical activity. Participants were asked to quantify their physical activity habits in a given week, particularly in terms of physical activity lasting at least 30 minutes.
Researchers selected the following sociodemographic, clinical and psychological variables as correlates of physical activity: age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, employment, income, general health, BMI, duration of diabetes, HbA1c, use of pump vs. injections for insulin administration, number of blood glucose meter checks per day, use of continuous glucose monitoring, presence of a foot ulcer, diagnosis of autonomic or peripheral neuropathy, and depressive symptoms.
Thirty-seven percent of participants had overweight and 22% had obesity. Twelve percent of participants reported no physical activity in a given week, 55% reported physical activity of at least 30 minutes’ duration between 1 and 4 days per weeks and 33% reported physical activity of at least 5 days per week. Eighty-eight percent of participants reported physical activity at least 1 day per week.
Researchers identified six factors as independently linked to no physical activity: age, general health, BMI, duration of diabetes, number of blood glucose checks in a given day and depressive symptoms (all P < .05). The odds of no physical activity increased with each 1-year increase in age, participant self-report of “less than excellent” general health, each 1-point BMI increase, each 1 additional year of diabetes duration and each 1-point increase in Patient Health Questionnaire-8.
The odds of attaining at least 5 days of physical activity were increased with male gender, single vs. married status, being on disability, being retired or have other employment vs. full-time work. The following three clinical and diabetes-related factors were found to be correlated with decreased odds of achieving physical activity recommendations: increased BMI, less than ideal general health and existence of a foot ulcer. Increased depressive symptoms also were found to reduce the odds of reaching the recommended levels of physical activity.
“These data highlight some of the sociodemographic, clinical, diabetes-related and psychological factors associated with patterns of [physical activity] in a large sample of adults with [type 1 diabetes],” the researchers wrote. “General health, elevated BMI and depressive symptoms were associated with no [physical activity] as well as achievement of adequate [physical activity].” – by Jennifer Byrne
The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.