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Moderate physical activity lowers diabetes risk in older adults

26 Nov 2020

Accelerometer-assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at baseline shows an inverse relationship with incident diabetes among individuals aged 50 years, a recent study involving a US Hispanic/Latino population has found.

A total of 7,280 participants of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos aged 18–74 years and free of diabetes at baseline were included in the analysis. The authors obtained data on MVPA using a 7-d accelerometer measurement. They assessed incident diabetes using standard procedures, including blood tests, after a mean of 6.0±0.8 years.

Survey Poisson regressions were then used to estimate risk ratios (RRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) of diabetes associated with MVPA. The associations between MVPA and 6-year changes in adiposity measures were also assessed.

In total, 871 incident cases of diabetes occurred. MVPA had an inverse and nonlinear association with risk of diabetes (pnonlinearity=0.006), with the benefits increasing rapidly at the lower end of MVPA range (<30 min/d) and leveling off thereafter.

Of note, population age mediated these associations (pinteraction=0.006). For instance, higher MVPA correlated with a lower risk of diabetes among individuals >50 years (RR of quartile 4 vs quartile 1, 0.50, 95 percent CI, 0.35–0.73; ptrend<0.001) but not among younger individuals (RR, 0.98, 95 percent CI, 0.66–1.47; ptrend=0.92).

In addition, the inverse association between MVPA and 6-year gain in waist circumference was also limited to the older group (p<0.001 for interaction with age).

“Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to clarify potential mechanisms underlying the possible age differences in the MVPA–diabetes association,” the authors said.

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Most Read Articles
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