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J Sports Sci. 2013;31(15):1656-64. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2013.792954. Epub 2013 May 16.

Insulin sensitivity and β-cell function estimated by HOMA2 model in sprint-trained athletes aged 20-90 years vs endurance runners and untrained participants.

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a Department of Athletics.


There are no studies available that portray insulin sensitivity and β-cell function in ageing sprint-trained athletes. We compared male young and master sprint-trained athletes to endurance-trained and untrained individuals. We hypothesised that ageing sprint-trained athletes would preserve insulin sensitivity and β-cell function at a level similar to that of endurance-trained peers and better than in untrained individuals. We showed the associations between age and parameters derived from the updated Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA2 model) in 52 sprint-trained track and field athletes (aged 20-90 years), 85 endurance runners (20-80 years) and 55 untrained individuals (20-70 years). Fasting glucose, fasting insulin, insulin sensitivity and β-cell function were not associated with age in sprint-trained athletes. These variables remained relatively stable across a wide range of age and comparable to those observed in endurance-trained athletes. In contrast, the untrained group showed considerable age-related increase in fasting insulin and β-cell activity and a strong decrease in insulin sensitivity compared to both athletic groups. HOMA2 parameters were significantly related to maximal oxygen in the combined group of participants. In summary, chronic training based on a "sprint model" of physical activity, that contains mixed exercise, seems to be effective in maintaining normal insulin sensitivity with ageing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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