Several studies have indicated that low physical activity is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality among patients with diabetes. The association between physical activity and subclinical cardiovascular changes preceding clinical events remains to be elucidated. We investigated the relationship between physical activity and arterial stiffness, an independent predictor of CVD, in patients with type 2 diabetes and controls.
We included 100 patients with type 2 diabetes and 100 sex- and age-matched controls in a cross-sectional study. Arterial stiffness (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, cfPWV) was measured using the SphygmoCor device (AtCor Medical, Sydney, Australia). Physical activity was assessed by an accelerometer (counts per minute (cpm), Actiheart (CamNtech, Cambridge, UK)) worn by the participants for up to 6 days. High vs. low levels of physical activity was defined according to the median level of activity (cpm = 31).
Sixty-five patients and 65 controls were included in the final analysis (median age 59 years, 55% men, median diabetes duration 1.9 years). Participants with low physical activity had higher cfPWV compared to participants with high physical activity: (i) Patients and controls combined: 9.3±1.7 m/s vs. 7.8±1.5 m/s, P < 0.001; (ii) Patients with diabetes: 9.5±1.8 m/s vs. 8.3±1.6 m/s, P = 0.02 and C) Controls: 9.0±1.4 m/s vs. 7.7±1.4 m/s, P < 0.01). The difference remained significant after adjustment for other determinants of cfPWV including whole body fat percentage ( P < 0.01). No significant interaction between diabetes and the effect of low activity was seen.
Low physical activity is associated with increased arterial stiffness in patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and in healthy controls.
CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION
Trial Number NCT00674271