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Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2010 Jul 11;2(1):47. doi: 10.1186/1758-5996-2-47.

Is exercise a therapeutic tool for improvement of cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus? A randomised controlled trial.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Physical Medicine, Rheumatology & Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Contributed equally



Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is associated with a high risk for early atherosclerotic complications especially risk of coronary heart disease.


To evaluate the impact of six months exercise prgram on glycemic control, plasma lipids values, blood pressure, severity and frequency of hypoglycemia, anthropometric measurements and insulin dose in a sample of adolescents with T1DM.


A total of 196 type 1 diabetic patients participated in the study. They were classified into three groups: Group (A) did not join the exercise program(n = 48), group (B) attended the exercise sessions once/week (n = 75), group (C) attended the exercise sessions three times/week (n = 73). Studied parameters were evaluated before and six months after exercise programe.


Exercise improved glycemic control by reducing HbA1c values in exercise groups (P = 0.03, P = 0.01 respectively) and no change in those who were not physically active (P = 0.2). Higher levels of HbA1c were associated with higher levels of cholesterol, LDL-c, and triglycerides (P = 0.000 each). In both groups, B and C, frequent exercise improved dyslipidemia and reduced insulin requirements significantly (P = 0.00 both), as well as a reduction in BMI (P = 0.05, P = 0.00 respectively) and waist circumference(P = 0.02, P = 0.00 respectively). The frequency of hypoglycemic attacks were not statistically different between the control group and both intervention groups (4.7 +/- 3.56 and 4.82 +/- 4.23, P = 0.888 respectively). Reduction of blood pressure was statistically insignificant apart from the diastolic blood presure in group C (P = 0.04).


Exercise is an indispensable component in the medical treatment of patients with T1DM as it improves glycemic control and decreases cardiovascular risk factors among them.

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