Physical Activity Linked To Significant Decrease in Diabetes Incidence

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Andrea-M-KriskaDr. Andrea M. Kriska PhD MS
Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Graduate School of Public Health
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Kriska:  The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was a well administered national research study primarily supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK) that demonstrated that lifestyle intervention with weight loss and physical activity goals can prevent type 2 diabetes in diverse, high risk US adults. The importance of physical activity in preventing diabetes development in the DPP until now was thought to be due to its role in achieving weight loss and weight maintenance but activity was not considered a strong key factor alone.

The lifestyle group had a significantly greater increase in physical activity and decrease in weight than the other two groups. They also had a 58% decrease in diabetes incidence compared to the control group. The successful decrease in T2D held across all age, sex, baseline BMI and ethnicity/race subgroups.

Despite the fact that the lifestyle intervention was then offered to all participants, in the follow-up years, the lifestyle participants still maintained a lower cumulative diabetes incidence that could not be explained by differences in weight loss.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Kriska:  These current results show that physical activity, over an average of 12 years, decreased the chances of developing diabetes even after considering any changes in weight. This protective effect was greater in those who were less active at baseline.

The study results also suggest that the lower  type 2 diabetes development across the entire study for those that took part in the lifestyle arm of the study may be partially explained by improvement in physical activity levels in addition to weight loss.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Kriska: 
For the Health Care Professional:
There is a need to look beyond your high risk patient’s weight and also consider their physical activity (PA) levels in attempts to prevent his or her progression to type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining your patient’s adequate PA levels is very important in diabetes prevention, regardless of any weight changes. Both PA and weight intervention need to be encouraged & supported.

For The Community Translation Researcher:
Despite the fact that PA is one of the two key goals in the many community translation studies that have developed from the highly successful DPP lifestyle intervention, PA outcome measures and results are only reported in a little over half of these studies. Researchers need to start reporting PA change.

Dr. Kriska: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation: Abstract presented at the June 2016 American Diabetes Association Meeting:

Physical Activity and Diabetes Development: The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Outcomes Study
ANDREA M. KRISKA, BONNY ROCKETTE-WAGNER, SHARON L. EDELSTEIN, ELIZABETH M. VENDITTI, GEORGE A. BRAY, LINDA M. DELAHANTY, EDWARD S. HORTON, MARY A. HOSKIN, WILLIAM C. KNOWLER, DPP RESEARCH GROUP,Pittsburgh, PA, Rockville, MD, Baton Rouge, LA, Boston, MA,Phoenix, AZ

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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