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J Exerc Rehabil. 2016 Dec 31;12(6):581-588. doi: 10.12965/jer.1632706.353. eCollection 2016 Dec.

Relationships among exercise capacity, dynamic balance and gait characteristics of Nigerian patients with type-2 diabetes: an indication for fall prevention.

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Department of Medical Rehabilitation, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria.
Department of Physiotherapy, School of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Kano, Nigeria.
Endocrinology and Metabolism Unit, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.


This study investigated the relationships among exercise capacity (EC), dynamic balance (DB), and gait characteristics (GCs) of patients with type-2 diabetes (T2D) and healthy controls (HCs). This observational controlled study involved 125 patients with T2D receiving treatment at a Nigerian university teaching hospital and 125 apparently healthy patients' relatives and hospital staff recruited as controls. EC maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) was estimated following a 6-min walk test. DB and GC were assessed using the Time Up to Go Test and an accelerometer (BTS G-Walk) assessing gait speed, step length, stride length, and cadence respectively during a self-selected walk. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Alpha level was set at P<0.05. The mean ages of patients with T2D and HCs were 57.6±6.6 and 60.0±7.0 years, respectively. All physical characteristics were comparable (P>0.05). There were significant differences in the VO2max and DB between patients with T2D and HCs; 7.6±0.6 mL/kg/min vs. 9.6±0.6 mL/kg/min (t=-16.6, P=0.001) and 14.2±2.1 sec vs. 10.4±1.5 sec (t=-6.37, P=0.001), respectively. Furthermore, significant differences were found in GC between patients with T2D and HCs; gait speed: 0.7±0.1 m/sec vs. 1.2±0.1 m/sec (t=-16.60, P=0.001), step length: 0.6±0.2 m vs. 0.9±0.3 m (t=-7.56, P=0.001) and stride length: 0.9±0.1 m vs. 1.1±0.5 m (t=-6.09, P=0.001). There were significant correlations between EC and gait speed in both groups (T2D: r=-0.26, P=0.032 and HCs: r=0.51, P=0.003). In conclusion, patients with T2D demonstrated lower EC, unstable DB, and altered GCs compared with HCs. Exercise interventions to improve EC and gait balance are recommended.


Exercise capacity; Fall prevention; Gait parameters; Stability; Type-2 diabetes

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