Modest Levels of Physical Activity Are Associated With a Lower Incidence of Diabetes in a Population With a High Rate of Obesity
The Strong Heart Family Study
- Amanda M. Fretts, PHD1⇓,
- Barbara V. Howard, PHD2,3,
- Barbara McKnight, PHD4,
- Glen E. Duncan, PHD1,
- Shirley A.A. Beresford, PHD1,
- Darren Calhoun, PHD2,
- Andrea M. Kriska, PHD5,
- Kristi L. Storti, PHD5 and
- David S. Siscovick, MD6
- 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- 2MedStar Health Research Institute, Washington, District of Columbia
- 3Georgetown and Howard Universities Center for Translational Science, Washington, District of Columbia
- 4Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- 5Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- 6Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- Corresponding author: Amanda M. Fretts, .
OBJECTIVE To examine the association of objectively measured participation in low levels of physical activity with incident type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The study population included participants free of diabetes and cardiovascular disease at baseline (n = 1,826) who participated in a follow-up examination. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the association of steps per day with incident diabetes.
RESULTS During 5 years of follow-up, 243 incident cases of diabetes were identified. When compared with participants in the lowest quartile of steps per day (<3,500 steps), participants in the upper three quartiles of steps per day had lower odds for diabetes, consistent with a threshold effect. Contrasting the three upper quartiles with the lowest quartile, the odds ratio of diabetes was 0.71 (95% CI 0.51–0.98).
CONCLUSIONS Modest levels of physical activity are associated with a lower risk of incident diabetes, compared with lower levels of activity.
- Received November 30, 2011.
- Accepted April 1, 2012.
- © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.
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