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Diabetologia. 2010 Sep;53(9):1877-85. doi: 10.1007/s00125-010-1785-x. Epub 2010 May 22.

Low-intensity physical activity is associated with reduced risk of incident type 2 diabetes in older adults: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK. p.demakakos@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:

We examined whether small amounts of low-intensity physical activity were associated with reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes in a national sample of people aged 50 years and over.

METHODS:

The sample comprised 7,466 individuals (55.9% women) free from self-reported doctor-diagnosed diabetes and was prospectively followed for a mean of 45.3 months. Baseline self-reported physical activity was categorised as physical inactivity, low- and vigorous/moderate-intensity physical activity at least once a week. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to model the association between baseline physical activity and incident type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS:

Vigorous/moderate-intensity physical activity at least once a week was associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.43-0.95, p = 0.026) but low-intensity physical activity at least once a week was not (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.58-1.30, p = 0.497) after adjustment for all covariates. However, age-stratified analysis showed that low-intensity physical activity at least once a week was associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes for those aged 70 years and over (HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.28-1.02, p = 0.059), but not for those aged 50 to 59 years (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.52-2.29, p = 0.828) or those aged 60 to 69 years (HR 1.15, 95% CI 0.55-2.41, p = 0.715) after adjustment for all covariates.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:

Compared with physical inactivity, any type of physical activity was associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in adults aged 70 years and over, while in adults aged 50 to 69 years, physical activity needed to be vigorous/moderate in intensity to be associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

PMID:
20495973
DOI:
10.1007/s00125-010-1785-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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