Cardiorespiratory fitness and incident diabetes: the FIT (Henry Ford ExercIse Testing) project

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Diabetes care


OBJECTIVE: Prior evidence has linked higher cardiorespiratory fitness with a lower risk of diabetes in ambulatory populations. Using a demographically diverse study sample, we examined the association of fitness with incident diabetes in 46,979 patients from The Henry Ford ExercIse Testing (FIT) Project without diabetes at baseline.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Fitness was measured during a clinician-referred treadmill stress test performed between 1991 and 2009. Incident diabetes was defined as a new diagnosis of diabetes on three separate consecutive encounters derived from electronic medical records or administrative claims files. Analyses were performed with Cox proportional hazards models and were adjusted for diabetes risk factors.

RESULTS: The mean age was 53 years with 48% women and 27% black patients. Mean metabolic equivalents (METs) achieved was 9.5 (SD 3.0). During a median follow-up period of 5.2 years (interquartile range 2.6-8.3 years), there were 6,851 new diabetes cases (14.6%). After adjustment, patients achieving ≥12 METs had a 54% lower risk of incident diabetes compared with patients achieving(hazard ratio 0.46 [95% CI 0.41, 0.51]; P-trend < 0.001). This relationship was preserved across strata of age, sex, race, obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.

CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that higher fitness is associated with a lower risk of incident diabetes regardless of demographic characteristics and baseline risk factors. Future studies should examine the association between change in fitness over time and incident diabetes.

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Diabetes Mellitus; Exercise Test; Exercise Tolerance; Female; Glycated Hemoglobin A; Health Status; Heart Rate; Humans; Hyperlipidemias; Hypertension; Male; Middle Aged; Obesity; Physical Fitness; Proportional Hazards Models; Prospective Studies; Risk Factors; Young Adult

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