ADA 2019—Total physical activity counts are tied to higher insulin sensitivity


  • Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Among adults with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or newly diagnosed, drug-naive type 2 diabetes (T2D), higher total physical activity counts (TACs) are linked to greater insulin sensitivity.
  • The activity is not, however, tied to better beta-cell response.

Why this matters

  • Assessing the benefits of physical activity for IGT or as a lifestyle change for those newly diagnosed with T2D has been stymied by different methods, including self-report.
  • This study relied on TAC measured with wrist accelerometers.

Key results

  • TAC showed no association with any glucose measures, including fasting plasma or oral glucose tolerance test results.
  • It was linked to higher insulin sensitivity (P=.0210).
  • However, more TACs were not tied to changes in beta-cell response.
  • The least active group not unexpectedly had the highest weight, waist circumference.

Study design

  • Cross-sectional study, adults with IGT or drug-naive new T2D diagnosis.
  • n=230, mean age 54.5 years, mean BMI 35.
  • TAC was measured for 7 consecutive days and participants grouped into quartiles from high to low activity.
  • Funding: NIH, ADA, some industry support.

Limitations

  • Usual limitations of cross-sectional designs, including allowing no inferences about causation.
  • Authors say that a larger sample size might have teased out links between TAC and beta-cell response.

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