Physical Activity, Cardiovascular Risk Factors, and Mortality Among Finnish Adults With Diabetes

  1. Gang Hu, MD, PHD12,
  2. Pekka Jousilahti, MD, PHD12,
  3. Noël C. Barengo, MD, MPH3,
  4. Qing Qiao, MD, PHD12,
  5. Timo A. Lakka, MD, PHD45 and
  6. Jaakko Tuomilehto, MD, PHD12
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Department of Public Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
  4. 4Department of Physiology, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
  5. 5Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, Kuopio, Finland
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Gang Hu, Diabetes and Genetic Epidemiology Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, FIN-00300 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: hu.gang{at}ktl.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVE—The aim of this study was to examine both single and joint associations of physical activity and conventional cardiovascular risk factors with total and cardiovascular mortality among patients with diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We prospectively followed 3,708 Finnish patients with type 2 diabetes aged 25–74 years. Physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, height, weight, and serum cholesterol level were determined at baseline. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate single and joint effects of physical activity and other cardiovascular risk factors on the risk of mortality.

RESULTS—During a mean follow-up of 18.7 years, 1,423 deaths were recorded, 906 of which were due to cardiovascular disease. Moderate or high levels of physical activity were associated with decreased total and cardiovascular mortality, whereas higher levels of BMI and blood pressure and current smoking were associated with increased total and cardiovascular mortality. High serum cholesterol levels also increased cardiovascular mortality. The protective effect of physical activity was consistent in diabetic patients with any levels of BMI, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and smoking.

CONCLUSIONS—A moderate or high level of physical activity was associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes. The favorable association of physical activity with longevity was observed regardless of the levels of BMI, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and smoking.

Footnotes

  • A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

    • Accepted December 31, 2004.
    • Received September 27, 2004.
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