Greater exercise capacity could mean longer life for adults with type 2 diabetes
Among people with type 2 diabetes, those with increased exercise capacity had a significantly decreased risk for all-cause mortality, according to data presented at the virtual European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting.
“Previous studies had demonstrated that exercise could improve insulin sensitivity and inhibit inflammatory cytokines, thereby reversing the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes,” Yun-Ju Lai, MD, a physician in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the Puli branch of Taichung Veterans General Hospital in Nantou, Taiwan, told Healio. “Epidemiologic studies had also shown that exercise reduced risk for cardiovascular events and mortality risks. However, the dose of exercise capacity for reducing mortality risk in people with type 2 diabetes was not yet well investigated.”
Lai and colleagues analyzed data from 4,859 adults with type 2 diabetes (49.17% men; mean age, 60 years), using data from the National Health Interview Survey and the National Health Insurance research database in Taiwan. Researchers obtained participants’ characteristics such as socioeconomic status and health behaviors via in-person interviews in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013. Comorbidities were confirmed by National Health Insurance research database (2000-2016). Participants were followed until December 2016.
Researchers used Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazard analyses to evaluate the relationship between exercise capacity and all-cause mortality.
Among people with type 2 diabetes, those with increased exercise capacity had a significantly decreased risk for all-cause mortality. Compared with those with no exercise habits, individuals with a moderate exercise level, defined as 0 kcal to 800 kcal per week, had a 25% lower all-cause mortality risk (HR = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.62-0.91), whereas those with a high exercise level, defined as more than 800 kcal per week, had a 32% lower all-cause mortality risk (HR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.57-0.81).
“Specific calorie expenditures vary widely depending on the exercise, intensity level and individual characteristics, such as weight,” Lai told Healio. “For a person who weighs 160 pounds, exercise capacity equivalent for 800 kcal per week included walking 4 km per day in a week, bicycling 3 hours per week, hiking 2 hours per week, or running for 1.3 hours per week.”
Lai said a significant trend was noted in associations between exercise capacity and reduced risk for all-cause mortality.
“Those with exercise capacity of more than 800 kcal per week had the lowest all-cause mortality risk,” Lai said.
In a press release, Lai and colleagues stated that future studies should investigate the type and dose of exercise that is most helpful to promote health and prolong life expectancy.