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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2011 Jan-Feb;52(1):54-9. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.01.020. Epub 2010 Mar 4.

The effects of physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) on glucose intolerance in older people: a nationwide study from Taiwan.

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  • 1Department of Health Care Management, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa First Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan 333, Taiwan, ROC.


We investigated the gender-specific effects of physical activity, BMI and WC on glucose intolerance in an elderly Taiwanese population (n=1344) aged 65 and above, who participated in the Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan in 1999-2000. In this cross-sectional study, physical activity was assessed using the Modified Baecke Questionnaire for Older Adults (MBQOA). Categories of physical activity level were defined by tertiles of MBQOA scores. Glucose intolerance in subjects not previously diagnosed with diabetes was categorized according to 2003 American Diabetes Association criteria. After adjustment for potential confounders, physical activity was significantly inversely associated with the presence of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in older women. In older men, the association was less clear. BMI and WC were significantly positively associated with the presence of undiagnosed diabetes in men and were significantly associated with IFG in both sexes. In older women, undiagnosed diabetes was strongly associated with increased WC, but not with BMI. Our findings highlight that older women with low physical activity or high WC, and older men with high BMI or WC are important target populations for interventions to prevent glucose intolerance.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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