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Gait speed may predict development of Type 2 diabetes: A pilot study among elderly Japanese

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DOI: 10.4236/jdm.2014.41007    2,963 Downloads   4,275 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT


Aims: Epidemiologic evidence suggests that physical activity is associated with reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. Walking is simple, effective, and by far the most prevalent physical activity among older adults. However, it is difficult to recognize and evaluate performance-based parameters of physical activity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the importance of performance-based gait speed among several physical measurements in the development of Type 2 diabetes using long-term community-based data on elderly Japanese persons. Methods: 10 baseline physical measurements, including habitual (HGS) and fast (FGS) gait speed, were examined in 102 elderly Japanese persons living independently in the community (mean age: 71.1 years old) who were not previously diagnosed with diabetes. The subjects then participated in a daily exercise program consisting of walking, stretching, muscle strengthening, and balance exercises and were followed for an average of 4.16 years. Using Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for age, sex, and category of fasting glucose status, we investigated whether gait speed and/or other physical measurements are associated with development of Type 2 diabetes. Results: 9 subjects developed Type 2 diabetes. Among the 10 physical parameters examined, prolongation of HGS and FGS per second was the only statistically significant factors, with hazard ratios 1.83 (1.15 - 2.89, P = 0.010) and 2.93 (1.43 - 6.03, P = 0.003), respectively. Conclusions: We found a negative association between the development of Type 2 diabetes and gait speed among elderly Japanese people. We conclude that encouraging physical activity and preserving walking capacity may be beneficial for preventing Type 2 diabetes.


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Nakanishi, S. , Takezawa, G. , Taooka, Y. , Kikkawa, K. , Matsumoto, N. and Hidaka, T. (2014) Gait speed may predict development of Type 2 diabetes: A pilot study among elderly Japanese. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 4, 38-43. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2014.41007.

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