- Combination of good cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), high-intensity physical activity (HPA) and low sedentary time (ST) can lower risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (comprising obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels) significantly increase risk of heart attack and stroke and pose a major global health threat
Being physically fit or having good cardiorespiratory health and less sedentary can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, according to a recent study by Jeroen van der Velde and Annemarie Koster, Maastricht University, Netherlands, and colleagues. The findings of the study appear in the Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).
Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF)measures the ability of the body to transport oxygen to muscles during prolonged physical activity, and ability of the body to use the oxygen efficiently. During exercise, the heart, lungs and blood vessels work together to sustain the increased activity and become more efficient and healthy in the process. Thus, physical activity is one of the factors that helps improve CRF although other factors may also be involved.
How Is This Study Different From Earlier Research Assessing Diabetes Risk?Previous studies have separately looked at the effects of CRF, sedentary time (ST) and high-intensity of physical activity (HPA) in influencing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Many studies including HPA and ST did not analyze the effect of CRF; this study is the first to analyze the combination of ST and CRF.
- This simply means that a person could do regular HPA and still not have high CRF, or have a good CRF without frequent HPA
Studying Combined Effects of CRF and ST on Type 2 DiabetesIn this study, information was gathered from 1993 people between 40-75 years from the Maastricht Study, living in the southern part of the Netherlands.
ST and HPA were estimated by an accelerometer device. CRF was measured by a cycle-ergometer testing, and the power output and oxygen consumption were then calculated.
- The team found that greater sedentary time (ST), reduced high-intensity physical activity (HPA) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were independently linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes and also metabolic syndrome
- The team then studied the effects of low, medium and high levels of ST, HPA and CRF together. Persons with both high CRF and high HPA had a 5.7 times lesser risk of metabolic syndrome and 6.4 times lesser risk of type 2 diabetes compared to the group with low CRF and low HPA.
- All subgroups with low or medium CRF had a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, despite the amounts of their sedentary time (ST)
- Although some persons had high CRF, a high ST was still associated with thrice the risk of metabolic syndrome and twice the risk of type 2 diabetes, suggesting that a good CRF alone may not be sufficient to overcome the ill effects associated with high sedentary time
- The highest risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes was noted in the group with low CRF and high ST; this group demonstrated a nine-times more risk of metabolic syndrome, and three times higher risk of prediabetes and an eight times higher risk of type 2 diabetes in comparison to the group with high CRF and low ST.
- Interestingly, the scientists found that changing from low to medium cardiorespiratory fitness seemed to be more helpful than changing from medium to high CRF to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
In conclusion, the authors say, "We also need to find out what amount of ST is associated with a clinically relevant increase in risk and which levels of HPA and CRF are associated with clinically relevant lower risk for the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes."
- M. Duclos,b J.-M. Oppert, B. Verges, V. Coliche, J.-F. Gautier, Y. Guezennec, G. Reach, G. Strauch., "Physical activity and type 2 diabetes. Recommandations of the SFD (Francophone Diabetes Society) diabetes and physical activity working group" Volume 39, Issue 3, May (2013), Pages 205-216 Diabetes & Metabolism http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabet.2013.03.005
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Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman. "Physical Fitness and Low Sedentary Time can Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/physical-fitness-and-low-sedentary-time-can-lower-type-2-diabetes-risk-182418-1.htm. (accessed Sep 26, 2022).
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