Physical activity in elderly subjects with impaired glucose tolerance and newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus

C.A. Baan, RP Stolk, DE Grobbee, JCM Witteman, EJM Feskens

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The authors carried out a study to investigate the association between different indicators of physical activity and the prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and newly diagnosed diabetes (nDM) in a population-based cohort of elderly men and women in the Netherlands. A sample of participants of the Rotterdam Study (n = 1,016) aged 55-75 years who were not known to have diabetes mellitus underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Physical activity was assessed by means of a self-administered questionnaire and expressed as time spent on activities per week, Associations with the prevalence of IGT and nDM were assessed by logistic regression analysis after adjustment for age, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, family history of diabetes, and smoking. A total of 745 subjects had normal glucose tolerance, 153 IGT, and 118 nDM, The total amount of time spent on physical activity decreased with increasing glucose intolerance. Adjusted for main confounders, vigorous activities such as bicycling (men: odds ratio (OR) = 0.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14-0.49; women: OR = 0.37, 95% CI 0.18-0.78) and sports (men: OR = 0.28, 95% CI 0.11-0.74) showed an inverse association with the presence of nDM. For IGT, the associations pointed in the same direction but did not reach statistical significance. These results indicate that physical inactivity and glucose intolerance are associated among older adults similar to the way they are associated among middle-aged adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • activities of daily living
  • aged
  • diabetes mellitus
  • glucose intolerance
  • glucose tolerance test
  • physical fitness
  • MEN


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