in Shape Staves Off Diabetes in Women
Reuters HealthNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being physically fit may help
prevent the development of diabetes in healthy women, according to findings
presented this week at the American Public Health Association's 131st Annual
Meeting in San Francisco.
Jason M. Wallace,
and others from The Cooper Institute in Dallas, examined the association
between fitness and type 2 diabetes in 4,984 women participating in the Aerobic
Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS).
"This study has
been going on for more than 30 years," Wallace told Reuters Health. "We have
already looked at men, fitness, and risk of developing diabetes and needed to
look at it in women."
women were free of diabetes when the study began. Based on how long they could
walk on a treadmill, the women were classified as being low fit, moderately
fit, or high fit.
developed diabetes during follow-up. The rate of diabetes was 3.2 percent in
the low-fit group, 2.6 percent in the moderately fit group, and less than 1
percent in the high-fit group.
other factors, such as age, weight, and blood sugar levels, "women who were in
the highest fitness group were at lower risk for developing diabetes relative
to women in a lower fitness category," Wallace said. For example, high-fit
women were 70 percent less likely to develop diabetes than low-fit women.
additional minute on the treadmill, there was a 14-percent reduction in the
risk of developing diabetes," the investigators report.
implications are obvious," Wallace said. "Physicians need to be prescribing
physical activity to their female patients to help prevent the development of
"There has been
very little (research) done on fitness and the development of diabetes in
women," he added. "These results do support what we have found in men, that
higher fitness levels protect against the development of diabetes."