Physical activity associated with lower risk of death in patients with diabetes

August 6, 2012

Higher levels of physical activity were related to lower risk of death in patients with diabetes, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine.

Increased (PA) has long been considered a key element in . Patients with are at higher risk for (CVD) and , so researchers note it is important to determine whether PA can produce similar in this high-risk population. While other studies have suggested that higher PA levels were associated with reduced CVD and total , conclusive high-level evidence is lacking, according to the study background.

Diewertje Sluik, M.Sc., of the German Institute of Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Nuthetal, Germany, and colleagues sought to investigate whether PA (total, leisure time and walking) was associated with CVD and total mortality in a large group of patients with diabetes as part of a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis. The study included a group of 5,859 patients with diabetes at baseline defined in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition) study. The meta-analysis included 12 studies.

"In this prospective analysis and meta-analysis of individuals with diabetes, higher levels of total PA, leisure-time PA and walking were associated with a lower risk of total and CVD mortality," the authors comment. "In the prospective analysis, people who reported being moderately physically active had lower mortality risk compared with those who reported being physically inactive."

Compared with patients who were physically inactive, the lowest mortality risk was seen in moderately active persons (hazard ratios [HR] were 0.62 for total mortality and 0.51 for CVD mortality). Leisure-time PA (including cycling, gardening and household work) was associated with lower total mortality risk, and walking was linked to lower CVD mortality risk, according to the study results.

"In conclusion, evidence from the present study and from previous studies summarized by meta-analyses supports the widely held view that PA is beneficially associated with lower mortality in people with diabetes," the authors comment. "Also, because not many patients with diabetes adhere to this advice, future research should elucidate the determinants of physical inactivity and design successful strategies to promote active lifestyles."

In an editorial, Mitchell H. Katz, M.D., of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, writes: "As physicians, it is important to understand the different physiologic effects and benefits of different forms of exercise so that we can guide our patients to the best regimen for them."

"A detailed guide for physicians on how to write an exercise prescription is available on the web. Some might question whether providing exercise prescriptions is really the job of the practicing physician, a fair question given that we are all trying to do more in our 15-minute visits," Katz continues.

"But having read the meta-analysis by Sluik at al, I cannot help but note that none of the time I spend trying to decide whether to increase the dose or add a new medication for my patients with type 2 diabetes is likely to result in a 38 percent reduction in all-cause mortality," Katz concludes.

Explore further: Poor health-related function, diabetes combo ups death risk

More information:
Arch Intern Med. Published online August 6, 2012. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3130
Arch Intern Med. Published online August 6, 2012. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3196

Related Stories

Poor health-related function, diabetes combo ups death risk

March 30, 2012
(HealthDay) -- The combination of type 2 diabetes and impaired health-related functioning (HRF) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to a study published online March 23 ...

Exercise reduces risk of death from cardiovascular disease in people with high blood pressure

April 19, 2012
In the study, all-cause and CVD mortality risks were found to be significantly higher among study participants that didn't exercise compared with active participants at all blood pressure levels. Moreover, the excess mortality ...

Combo of diabetes, depression increases post-MI mortality

February 27, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Having both diabetes and depression significantly increases the risk of dying in the years following a heart attack, beyond the increased risk from either condition alone, according to a study published in ...

More red meat consumption appears to be associated with increased risk of death

March 12, 2012
Eating more red meat appears to be associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and death from cardiovascular disease and cancer, but substituting other foods including fish and poultry for red meat is associated ...

Diabetes associated with higher risk of cardiovascular problems in men

March 25, 2012
According to a new study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), men with type 2 diabetes treated with insulin without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were at higher risk for major cardiovascular events ...

Recommended for you

Controlling diabetes with your phone might be possible someday

November 21, 2017
Think about this. You have diabetes, are trying to control your insulin levels and instead of taking a pill or giving yourself an injection, you click an app on your phone that tells your pancreas to bring blood sugar levels ...

Insulin pill may delay type 1 diabetes in some

November 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—It's often said that timing is everything. New research suggests this may be true when giving an insulin pill to try to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes.

Simple test predicts diabetes remission following weight loss surgery

November 21, 2017
A new simple test that helps predicts which people with type 2 diabetes will benefit most from weight loss surgery has been developed by a UCL-led team.

Pre-diabetes discovery marks step towards precision medicine

November 20, 2017
Researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre have identified three specific molecules that accurately indicate insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes - a major predictor of metabolic syndrome, the collection ...

Scientists reverse diabetes in a mouse model using modified blood stem cells

November 15, 2017
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully reversed type 1 diabetes in a mouse model by infusing blood stem cells pre-treated to produce more of a protein called PD-L1, which is deficient in mice (and people) ...

Pregnancy-related conditions taken together leave moms—and dads—at risk

November 14, 2017
Research has already shown that women who develop either diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease years later. Now, a new study from a team ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.