Exercise lower the risk of premature death with type 1 diabetes

woman exercising

Those who are active are less likely to die from premature death because type 1 diabetes.  Usually, the more you exercise the better it would be for you, study suggest. Researchers based the data on the frequency, intensity and duration of leisure time physical activity for 2,639 patients with type 1 diabetes in Finland. After an average follow-up of about 11 years, 270 participants died.

According to the study, those people who spend less time or no time to exercise are more likely to die compared to someone who are active, even when they had kidney disease..

“It matters because doctors have always prescribed physical activity for their patients with (type 1) diabetes without strong evidence,” said lead study author Dr. Heidi Tikkanen-Dolenc of the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital.

For many years, exercise has been known to better survival odds for people with type 2 diabetes.  Type 2 develops when the body can’t produce enough insulin for the body anymore thus it would be harder for the body to convert blood sugar to energy.

If left untreated, both types of diabetes can lead to nerve damage, kidney damage known as nephropathy, and complications in the heart, blood vessels and eyes. Often, people with diabetes eventually die of heart or kidney disease.

“Now we can say that in patients with type 1 diabetes, physical activity not only reduces the risk of diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular disease events but also premature mortality,” Tikkanen-Dolenc said by email.

The patients that participated in the study were 40 years old on average and most of them were overweight.

Researchers asked them how often they exercise, how intense, and the kind of activity they did. Then, the study team scored participants’ exercise levels and intensity based on a measure known as metabolic equivalent of task (MET) hours per week.

The least active group got less than 10 MET hours per week when they joined the study, while the most active group got more than 40 MET hours a week.

During the 10 years study, those who are in the least active group has a death rate of 14.4 percent, compared with 4.8 percent for the most active group, researchers calculated.

After adjusting for other factors like current or former smoking, cholesterol, body mass, blood sugar control and age at onset of diabetes, the researchers found that people who got less than 10 MET hours of activity a week were nearly twice as likely as those who got more than 40 MET hours to die of any cause. People in the moderate exercise group were 37 percent more likely to die than the most active people.

It seems that physical activity would benefit those patients either with or without kidney disease, the study team notes.

One limitation of the results is that researchers only assessed activity levels once, at the start, and it’s possible that people’s habits changed over time, the authors write. The study also wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how exercise might improve survival odds.

It’s possible, however, that exercise helps reduce the odds of death from heart or kidney problems by reducing body weight, improving physical fitness levels and helping the body respond better to insulin, Tikkanen-Dolenc said.

“While the exact amount of exercise needed to lower the risk of cardiovascular events is unknown, doing any is better than remaining sedentary,” said Sheri Colberg, a professor emeritus of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Source: Reuter