Pedometer-determined physical activity level and change in arterial stiffness in Type 2 diabetes over 4 years

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Abstract

Aim

To explore prospectively the correlation between the level of pedometer-determined physical activity at the start of the study and the change in pulse wave velocity from baseline to 4 years later in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Methods

We analysed data from 135 men and 53 women with Type 2 diabetes, aged 54–66 years. Physical activity was measured with waist-mounted pedometers on 3 consecutive days and the numbers of steps/day at baseline were classified into four groups: <5000 steps/day, 5000–7499 steps/day, 7500–9999 steps/day and ≥10 000 steps/day. Pulse wave velocity was measured using applanation tonometry over the carotid and femoral arteries at baseline and after 4 years.

Results

The mean (±sd; range) number of steps/day was 8022 (±3765; 956–20 921). The participants with the lowest level of physical activity had a more pronounced increase in the change in pulse wave velocity compared with the participants with the highest. When change in pulse wave velocity was analysed as a continuous variable and adjusted for sex, age, diabetes duration, HbA1c, BMI, systolic blood pressure, pulse wave velocity at baseline, β-blocker use, statin use, unemployment, smoking and diabetes medication, the number of steps/day at baseline was significantly associated with a less steep increase in change in pulse wave velocity (P=0.005). Every 1000 extra steps at baseline corresponded to a lower increase in change in pulse wave velocity of 0.103 m/s.

Conclusions

We found that a high level of pedometer-determined physical activity was associated with a slower progression of arterial stiffness over 4 years in middle-aged people with Type 2 diabetes.

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