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Review Article |

Physical Activity and Mortality in Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus:  A Prospective Study and Meta-analysis FREE

Diewertje Sluik, MSc; Brian Buijsse, PhD; Rebecca Muckelbauer, PhD; Rudolf Kaaks, PhD; Birgit Teucher, PhD; Nina Føns Johnsen, PhD; Anne Tjønneland, PhD; Kim Overvad, PhD; Jane Nautrup Østergaard, PhD; Pilar Amiano, MSc; Eva Ardanaz, PhD; Benedetta Bendinelli, PharmD; Valeria Pala, PhD; Rosario Tumino, MD; Fulvio Ricceri, MSc; Amalia Mattiello, MD; Annemieke M. W. Spijkerman, PhD; Evelyn M. Monninkhof, PhD; Anne M. May, PhD; Paul W. Franks, PhD; Peter M. Nilsson, MD, PhD; Patrik Wennberg, PhD; Olov Rolandsson, MD, PhD; Guy Fagherazzi, PhD; Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, MD, PhD; Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, PhD; José María Huerta Castaño, PhD; Valentina Gallo, PhD; Heiner Boeing, PhD; Ute Nöthlings, DrPH
[+] Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Nuthetal, Germany (Ms Sluik and Drs Buijsse, Boeing, and Nöthlings); Berlin School of Public Health, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany (Dr Muckelbauer); Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany (Drs Kaaks and Teucher); Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark (Drs Johnsen and Tjønneland); Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health (Drs Overvad and Østergaard), and Department of Cardiology, Aalborg Hospital (Dr Østergaard), Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark; Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, IIS Institute BioDonostia, Health Department Basque Region, San Sebastian, Spain (Ms Amiano); Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health, Spain (Ms Amiano and Drs Ardanaz and Huerta Castaño); Navarre Public Health Institute, Pamplona, Spain (Dr Ardanaz); Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Unit, Cancer Research and Prevention Institute, Florence, Italy (Dr Bendinelli); Department of Preventive and Predictive Medicine, Nutritional Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy (Dr Pala); Cancer Registry and Histopathology Unit, “Civile–M.P. Arezzo” Hospital, Ragusa, Italy (Dr Tumino); Human Genetics Foundation, Turin, Italy (Mr Ricceri); Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Federico II University, Naples, Italy (Dr Mattiello); National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Centre for Prevention and Health Services Research, Bilthoven, the Netherlands (Dr Spijkerman); Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands (Drs Monninkhof and May); Department of Clinical Sciences, Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden (Dr Franks); Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Franks); Department of Clinical Sciences, Internal Medicine, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö (Dr Nilsson); Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden (Drs Wennberg and Rolandsson); Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, and Paris-South University, Villejuif, France (Drs Fagherazzi, Boutron-Ruault, and Clavel-Chapelon); Department of Epidemiology, Murcia Regional Health Authority, Murcia, Spain (Dr Huerta Castaño); School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London (Dr Gallo); and Epidemiology Section, Institute for Experimental Medicine, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany (Dr Nöthlings).


Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(17):1285-1295. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3130.
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Background Physical activity (PA) is considered a cornerstone of diabetes mellitus management to prevent complications, but conclusive evidence is lacking.

Methods This prospective cohort study and meta-analysis of existing studies investigated the association between PA and mortality in individuals with diabetes. In the EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition), a cohort was defined of 5859 individuals with diabetes at baseline. Associations of leisure-time and total PA and walking with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality were studied using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models. Fixed- and random-effects meta-analyses of prospective studies published up to December 2010 were pooled with inverse variance weighting.

Results In the prospective analysis, total PA was associated with lower risk of CVD and total mortality. Compared with physically inactive persons, the lowest mortality risk was observed in moderately active persons: hazard ratios were 0.62 (95% CI, 0.49-0.78) for total mortality and 0.51 (95% CI, 0.32-0.81) for CVD mortality. Leisure-time PA was associated with lower total mortality risk, and walking was associated with lower CVD mortality risk. In the meta-analysis, the pooled random-effects hazard ratio from 5 studies for high vs low total PA and all-cause mortality was 0.60 (95% CI, 0.49-0.73).

Conclusions Higher levels of PA were associated with lower mortality risk in individuals with diabetes. Even those undertaking moderate amounts of activity were at appreciably lower risk for early death compared with inactive persons. These findings provide empirical evidence supporting the widely shared view that persons with diabetes should engage in regular PA.

Figures in this Article

Diabetes mellitus is a major cause of illness and premature death in most countries.1 Efforts to reduce the impact of diabetes complications have been predominantly aimed at controlling hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia by using medication strategies, despite the lack of evidence of long-term benefits.2,3 However, diabetes management should extend to an overall intervention strategy that includes lifestyle modification to reduce the risk of complications.4

Lifestyle measures, including physical activity (PA), are key factors for self-management in patients with diabetes to prevent macrovascular complications and premature mortality.5 Increased PA has long been considered a cornerstone of diabetes management. Persons with diabetes are recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic PA.5,6 Walking has been of particular interest because it requires no specific facilities, can be easily implemented in the daily routine, and is relatively safe.7

In the general population, being physically active has been associated with a lower risk of overall and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality compared with being inactive.8 Because persons with diabetes are at higher risk for CVD and premature death, it is important to determine whether PA can produce similar beneficial effects in this high-risk population. Indeed, a meta-analysis9 of 14 controlled trials in diabetic persons showed that exercise programs had beneficial effects on glycemic control. Several prospective cohort studies1021 have found that higher PA levels were associated with reduced CVD and total mortality rates, but conclusive high-level evidence is lacking.

The objective was to investigate whether PA—total, leisure time, and walking—was associated with CVD and total mortality in a large cohort of individuals with diabetes. A meta-analysis summarizing evidence from prospective studies was performed to put the present findings in context and to provide a higher level of evidence.

STUDY DESIGN AND POPULATION

The EPIC study (European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition) is an ongoing prospective study of 519 978 men and women aged 35 to 70 years from 23 study centers in 10 European countries.22 Within the EPIC study, a cohort was established of participants with a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes mellitus at baseline between 1992 and 2000. As described previously,23,24 15 study centers from 6 countries provided additional data on diabetes diagnosis and medications. No information was available to distinguish type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. To be considered diabetic, a self-reported diagnosis at baseline had to be confirmed by at least 1 additional information source. Depending on the available options in the study centers, these sources included contact with a physician, self-reported use of diabetes medication, confirmation of self-reported diabetes status during follow-up, linkage to diabetes registries, and a baseline glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level greater than 6%. The cohort comprised 6412 individuals with confirmed diabetes at study enrollment. After the exclusion of participants without follow-up information on vital status (n = 27), participants with extreme or implausible energy intakes (n = 177), and participants with missing PA data (n = 349, including the cohort in Umeå, Sweden), the analytical sample included 5859 individuals.

PA ASSESSMENT

At baseline, participants received a lifestyle questionnaire by mail, which they completed at home. This questionnaire asked about occupational activity and duration and frequency of walking, cycling, gardening (average values of summer and winter), household work, do-it-yourself activities, and sports during the past year.

Total PA was investigated using the Cambridge Physical Activity Index,25 which combines self-reported occupational activity with time participating in cycling and sports. Occupational activity was categorized as sedentary, standing, manual, or heavy manual. The sum of hours per week spent on cycling and sports was categorized into 4 levels. Based on a 4 × 4 matrix, participants were divided into 4 categories, that is, inactive (sedentary job and no recreational activity), moderately inactive, moderately active, and active (sedentary job with >1 hour of recreational activity per day, standing or physical job with some recreational activity, or a heavy manual job). The index has been shown to have acceptable repeatability, and it was positively associated with objective measures of the ratio of daytime expenditure to resting metabolic rate and cardiorespiratory fitness.25

Leisure-time PA included walking, cycling, gardening, sports, household work, and do-it-yourself activities. Duration and frequency were directly assessed, and intensity, that is, energy expenditure, was estimated by assigning metabolic equivalents (METs), ranging from 3 for walking and household activities to 6 for sports.26 A MET is defined as the ratio of work metabolic rate to a standard metabolic rate of 1.0 kcal (4.184 kJ) × kg − 1 × h − 1. One MET is the energy expended by a person while sitting quietly.

COVARIATE ASSESSMENT

Diabetes duration was calculated by subtracting the self-reported year of diagnosis or, when available, the exact date of diagnosis supplied by the physician from the year of baseline examination. Insulin therapy or use of oral hypoglycemic agents was either self-reported during the visit at the study center or was obtained through medical verification; this information was not collected in Spain and Denmark. Moreover, the lifestyle questionnaire included a question about insulin therapy. When a participant did not report the use of diabetes medication during the visit or reported insulin therapy in the questionnaire, we assumed that the participant did not take medication.

Dietary intake, including alcohol consumption during the past year, was assessed using country-specific instruments.22 Weight and height were measured with participants not wearing shoes. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured by trained personnel at baseline except in Navarra, Spain. The HbA1c level was measured in erythrocytes of blood collected at baseline except in Denmark. Smoking behavior, educational level, and prevalence of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cancer were assessed using questionnaires.

OUTCOME ASCERTAINMENT

Sixty-one participants (1%) were lost to follow-up. For those completely followed up, causes and dates of deaths were ascertained using record linkages with local, regional, or central cancer registries, boards of health, or death indices. An exception was Germany, where deceased participants were identified with follow-up mailings and subsequent inquiries to municipality registries, regional health departments, physicians, or hospitals. Mortality data were coded according to the International Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death, Tenth Revision, using the codes I00-I99 for CVD mortality.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs of total and CVD mortality were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression and a commercially available software program (SAS, version 9.2; SAS Institute, Inc).27 Total PA was analyzed in 4 categories, and leisure-time PA (MET-hours per week) and walking (hours per week) were analyzed in quartiles. The lowest category or quartile was the reference. Center and age at recruitment in 1-year categories were entered as stratum variables.28 Age was used as the underlying time scale, with entry time defined as the participant's age (in years) at recruitment and exit time defined as the participant's age (in years) at death or censoring.

The HRs were adjusted for sex (model 1); disease duration (years); use of diabetes-related medication (none, insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, or both); self-reported myocardial infarction, stroke, or cancer; alcohol consumption (grams per day); smoking status (never, former [quit ≤10, 11-20, or >20 years ago], or current), smoking duration (≤10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, or ≥41 years), and number of cigarettes currently smoked (<15, 15-24, or ≥25 per day); education (5 categories); energy intake (kilocalories per day); and factor scores for the first 3 patterns derived from factor analysis on 16 food groups (model 2).

Among the covariates, proportions of missing data were 31% for diabetes medication, 8% for disease duration, 5% for prevalence of cancer, 1% for prevalence of myocardial infarction or stroke, and less than 1% for diet and education. These missing values were imputed using the multiple imputation technique.29 All the variables included in the multivariable adjustment model were included in the imputation procedure, and 20 duplicate data sets were sampled.30

In sensitivity analyses, it was checked whether additional adjustment for HbA1c level, BMI, and systolic blood pressure affected the risk estimates. Prevalent cases of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cancer and participants with follow-up of less than 2 years (n = 5039) were excluded. Statistical interaction by sex, body mass index (BMI), and insulin therapy was tested by adding a product term to the multivariable adjustment model. Finally, results were compared with analyses without multiple imputation (n = 5376), in which participants with missing values for continuous variables were excluded, and missing values for categorical variables were modeled as a separate indicator variable.

META-ANALYSIS

A systematic literature search in MEDLINE and ISI Web of Knowledge for prospective studies on PA published up to December 2010 yielded 4344 publications, of which 12 were included in the meta-analysis (eFigure 1). Study quality scores were assigned using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale eTable quality criteria included representativeness, exposure and outcome ascertainment, adjustment, follow-up, and attrition.31 The most complete adjusted HRs and 95% CIs of the highest vs the lowest activity category were extracted. Study selection, quality assessment, and data extraction was performed by 2 of us (D.S. and B.B.) independently; any discrepancies between the 2 were resolved by discussion. Fixed- and random-effects meta-analyses with inverse variance weighting were performed using R package “meta” (version 2.12.2). Heterogeneity was assessed by the Q statistic and the I2 index.

BASELINE CHARACTERISTICS

Individuals who were more physically active were younger, were more likely to be male, had a lower BMI and a lower HbA1c level, and had a shorter diabetes duration than did those who were inactive (Table 1). They were also more likely to use insulin and to report fewer comorbidities.

Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 1. Baseline Characteristics of 5859 Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus Across Categories of Total Physical Activity
PROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS

After median follow-up of 9.4 years, 755 participants had died (13%). Death due to CVD accounted for 28% of all deaths (n = 212). Total PA was inversely associated with total and CVD mortality (Table 2). The lowest HR was observed in persons categorized as moderately active: the HR in the multivariable adjustment model was 0.62 (95% CI, 0.49-0.78) for total mortality. When excluding heavy manual workers and nonworkers from the analyses, the lowest risk was still observed in the moderately active group. Leisure-time PA was also associated with a lower risk of CVD and total mortality: the HR in the highest category was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.57-0.93) for total mortality. The association with CVD mortality was weaker in magnitude and nonsignificant but showed the same trend. Participants who walked more than 2 hours per week had lower CVD mortality risk compared with those in the lowest activity group: the HR in the category of 2 to 4.5 hours per week was 0.54 (95% CI, 0.36-0.82). The relationship of walking with total mortality was less pronounced. Additional adjustment for vigorous PA did not alter the association.

Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 2. HRs (95% CIs) for Associations Between Total Physical Activity, Leisure-Time Physical Activity, and Walking and Total and CVD Mortality in 5859 Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus

Adjustment for intermediate factors did not affect the risk estimates. For total PA, the HR in moderately active persons was 0.62 (95% CI, 0.50-0.79) after additional adjustment for HbA1c and 0.62 (95% CI, 0.49-0.78) after additional adjustment for BMI or systolic blood pressure. Excluding participants with comorbidities at baseline led to lower HRs: for total PA, the HR in moderately active persons was 0.58 (95% CI, 0.43-0.77) for total mortality and 0.31 (95% CI, 0.15-0.60) for CVD mortality. Sex seemed to modify the association between total PA and total mortality (P for interaction = .04, multivariable model). Women had a lower HR across quartiles than did men, but the trend showed the same direction (the HR in the highest category was 0.79 [95% CI, 0.59-1.05] in men and 0.59 [95% CI, 0.36-0.96] in women). The analyses without multiple imputation showed similar results (the HR for total mortality in the highest category of total PA was 0.70 [95% CI, 0.54-0.90]), indicating that missing observations did not influence the effect estimates.

META-ANALYSIS

In the 12 cohort studies10,1315,1721,3234 included in the meta-analyses, verification criteria of diabetes status ranged from self-report to an oral glucose tolerance test; 4 studies used official diagnostic criteria (Table 3). Sample sizes ranged from 29221 to 5859 (the present study), and mean follow-up was 12.5 years. Physical activity was assessed by questionnaire in 8 studies10,14,17,19,20,3234 and by interview in 4.13,15,18,21 Participants were divided into PA categories ranging from inactive to active. All but 1 study13 adjusted for a wide range of multiple risk factors. Study quality ranged from 613,14,19,34 to 918 stars of a maximum of 9. Three studies19,20,33 reported on total PA but measured only leisure-time activities and were, therefore, classified as such.

Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 3. Identified Published Prospective Cohort Studies on PA and Mortality in Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus

The meta-analyses of prospective studies showed that the highest levels of total and leisure-time PA and walking were associated with a lower risk of total and CVD mortality compared with a low activity level (Figures 1, 2, and 3). Magnitudes of associations were similar for total and CVD mortality.

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Figure 1. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for associations between total physical activity (highest vs lowest category) and total (A) and cardiovascular (B) mortality for individual cohort studies, including the present study, and all the cohort studies combined. EPIC indicates European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition; black squares, estimates for the individual studies; solid horizontal lines, 95% CIs; and white diamonds and dashed vertical lines, combined estimates for the analysis (the width of the diamond represents the 95% CI).

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Figure 2. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for associations between leisure-time physical activity (highest vs lowest category) and total (A) and cardiovascular (B) mortality for individual cohort studies, including the present study, and all the cohort studies combined. EPIC indicates European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition; NHANES, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; black squares, estimates for the individual studies; solid horizontal lines, 95% CIs; and white diamonds and dashed vertical lines, combined estimates for the analysis (the width of the diamond represents the 95% CI).

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Graphic Jump Location

Figure 3. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for associations between walking (highest vs lowest category) and total (A) and cardiovascular (B) mortality for individual cohort studies, including the present study, and all the cohort studies combined. EPIC indicates European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition; black squares, estimates for the individual studies; solid horizontal lines, 95% CIs; and white diamonds and dashed vertical lines, combined estimates for the analysis (the width of the diamond represents the 95% CI).

Significant heterogeneity was found for total PA and total mortality (I2 = 69%, P = .01) and for walking and total mortality (I2 = 71%; P = .01). For walking, an influential meta-analysis revealed that the present study contributed most heterogeneity, although excluding the present study from the meta-analyses did not substantially influence the pooled HR. Visual inspection of funnel plots did not indicate publication bias (eFigure 2).

In this prospective analysis and meta-analysis of individuals with diabetes, higher levels of total PA, leisure-time PA, and walking were associated with a lower risk of total and CVD mortality. In the prospective analysis, people who reported being moderately physically active had lower mortality risk compared with those who reported being physically inactive.

In persons with diabetes, an increase in PA has been shown to reduce HbA1c levels9,35 and improve insulin sensitivity.36 Moreover, PA has been shown to have beneficial effects on inflammation, hypertension, dyslipidemia, endothelial function, and abdominal adiposity in persons with and without diabetes.3740

PROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS

The association between total PA and mortality was slightly J-shaped. This could have been due to misclassification of activity levels, which may be higher in the most physically active group owing to labeling bias. This result is in contrast to the other studies15,19,21,32,34 included in the meta-analysis, which showed linear inverse associations, with the lowest observed HR in the highest quartile. In the present study, participants with heavy manual work occupations were automatically assigned to the “active” category. Because such people are more frequently exposed to occupational risk factors and more often have a lower socioeconomic status, they may have a more unfavorable risk profile.41 However, excluding heavy manual workers and nonworkers from the analyses did not change the findings. Thus, diabetic individuals who are physically inactive seem to have a higher risk of early death, and already being moderately active may improve survival.

Walking may reduce the risk of CVD in people with diabetes by improving glycemic control and other risk factors.7 In the present study and meta-analysis, persons in the highest quartiles of walking duration had a lower risk of CVD mortality compared with those in the lowest quartile. In contrast, walking was not related to significantly lower total mortality risk in this study, whereas other studies10,15,18,19 in the meta-analysis reported strong inverse relationships. In the present study, persons in the highest category reported walking more than 9 hours per week. Walking levels were lower in the other studies included: in comparison, persons in the active category in the study by Tanasescu et al19 walked more than 16 MET-hours per week. It is known that Europeans are more active than North American populations,42 and it has been observed in a Dutch population that activities of at least moderate intensity, but not lower intensity, such as walking, were related to reduced CVD incidence.43 This seems to be in contrast to our findings on walking and CVD mortality. However, because no information on walking pace was available, we cannot draw conclusions about walking intensity. In conclusion, although these results did not reach statistical significance, from the meta-analysis the potential benefits of walking on mortality are well established.

Reverse causality could have overestimated the mortality risks if diabetes or comorbidities at baseline led to inactivity. Excluding participants with comorbidities at baseline or the first 2 years of follow-up strengthened the risk estimates, indicating that reverse causality is unlikely to explain the results. However, residual confounding or misclassification cannot be excluded because measures of disease severity and comorbidities were self-reported.

Adjustment for factors on the causal pathway may underestimate the magnitude of the true association between PA and mortality.11,12 However, risk estimates were not affected by additional adjustment for the intermediate factors HbA1c level, BMI, and systolic blood pressure.

META-ANALYSIS

Physical activity was associated with a lower total mortality risk in diabetic individuals. These associations are in line with those found in the general population, where PA relates to a 33% lower risk of overall mortality and a 35% lower risk of CVD mortality compared with inactivity.8 The present meta-analysis was a “high vs low” comparison. This is a common practice for meta-analyses of observational studies, but results can be difficult to interpret because absolute levels of PA will vary between studies and are unknown.44 However, this was the best option based on the available data.

Statistically significant heterogeneity was found for the associations between total PA and walking and total mortality. Because statistical heterogeneity is based only on the effect estimates and their precision, it is important to consider clinical heterogeneity. All the studies included in the meta-analysis were comparable in terms of study design, diabetes population, and outcome. However, an important issue when performing meta-analyses of PA is comparability of the exposure assessment, which was heterogeneous across the included studies. Physical activity was assessed by questionnaire or interview, with varying questions, categories, and classifications. Questionnaires, including interviews, are the most common tools for PA assessment in large epidemiologic studies because they are inexpensive and feasible. In general, PA questionnaires have a low reliability and low validity but can be adequately used to rank individuals.45 It was considered appropriate to combine the studies by meta-analyses because all measured common perceptions of PA levels.

In conclusion, evidence from the present study and from previous studies summarized by meta-analyses supports the widely held view that PA is beneficially associated with lower mortality in people with diabetes. Although these findings highlight that persons with diabetes should engage in regular PA,5 they need to be confirmed in a long-term randomized controlled trial. Also, because not many patients with diabetes adhere to this advice,46 future research should elucidate the determinants of physical inactivity and design successful strategies to promote active lifestyles.

Correspondence: Diewertje Sluik, MSc, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Epidemiology Arthur-Scheunert-Allee, 114-116 Nuthetal 14558, Germany (Diewertje.Sluik@dife.de).

Accepted for Publication: May 12, 2012.

Published Online: August 6, 2012. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3130

Author Contributions: Ms Sluik had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analyses. Study concept and design: Sluik, Amiano, Ardanaz, Tumino, Boeing, and Nöthlings. Acquisition of data: Sluik, Kaaks, Teucher, Tjønneland, Overvad, Amiano, Ardanaz, Bendinelli, Pala, Tumino, Ricceri, Mattiello, Nilsson, Wennberg, Rolandsson, Boutron-Ruault, Clavel-Chapelon, Boeing, and Nöthlings. Analysis and interpretation of data: Sluik, Buijsse, Muckelbauer, Overvad, Østergaard, Pala, Spijkerman, Monninkhof, May, Franks, Nilsson, Rolandsson, Fagherazzi, Huerta Castaño, Gallo, and Nöthlings. Drafting of the manuscript: Sluik. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Buijsse, Muckelbauer, Kaaks, Teucher, Johnsen, Tjønneland, Overvad, Østergaard, Amiano, Ardanaz, Bendinelli, Pala, Tumino, Ricceri, Mattiello, Spijkerman, Monninkhof, May, Franks, Nilsson, Wennberg, Rolandsson, Fagherazzi, Boutron-Ruault, Clavel-Chapelon, Huerta Castaño, Gallo, Boeing, and Nöthlings. Statistical analysis: Sluik and Buijsse. Obtained funding: Overvad, Tumino, and Nöthlings. Administrative, technical, and material support: Teucher, Tjønneland, Østergaard, Ardanaz, Nilsson, Rolandsson, Gallo, and Boeing. Study supervision: Buijsse, Muckelbauer, Kaaks, Overvad, Amiano, Ardanaz, Boeing, and Nöthlings.

Financial Disclosure: None reported.

Funding/Support: This study was supported by a European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes/sanofi-aventis grant (Dr Nöthlings).

Role of the Sponsor: The European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes and sanofi-aventis had no role in the design or conduct of the study, collection or analysis of the data, or preparation or approval of the manuscript and did not have any influence on the contents.

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PubMed   |  Link to Article
Tanasescu M, Leitzmann MF, Rimm EB, Hu FB. Physical activity in relation to cardiovascular disease and total mortality among men with type 2 diabetes.  Circulation. 2003;107(19):2435-2439
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wei M, Gibbons LW, Kampert JB, Nichaman MZ, Blair SN. Low cardiorespiratory fitness and physical inactivity as predictors of mortality in men with type 2 diabetes.  Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(8):605-611
PubMed
Jonker JT, De Laet C, Franco OH, Peeters A, Mackenbach J, Nusselder WJ. Physical activity and life expectancy with and without diabetes: life table analysis of the Framingham Heart Study.  Diabetes Care. 2006;29(1):38-43
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Riboli E, Hunt KJ, Slimani N,  et al.  European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): study populations and data collection.  Public Health Nutr. 2002;5(6B):1113-1124
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nöthlings U, Boeing H, Maskarinec G,  et al.  Food intake of individuals with and without diabetes across different countries and ethnic groups.  Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011;65(5):635-641
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Sluik D, Boeing H, Montonen J,  et al.  Associations between general and abdominal adiposity and mortality in individuals with diabetes mellitus.  Am J Epidemiol. 2011;174(1):22-34
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wareham NJ, Jakes RW, Rennie KL,  et al.  Validity and repeatability of a simple index derived from the short physical activity questionnaire used in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.  Public Health Nutr. 2003;6(4):407-413
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Whitt MC,  et al.  Compendium of physical activities: an update of activity codes and MET intensities.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000;32(9):(suppl)  S498-S504
PubMed
Cox DR, Oakes D. Analysis of Survival Data. London, England: Chapman & Hall; 1984
SAS Institute Inc.  SAS/STAT 9.2 User's Guide, Second Edition. http://support.sas.com/documentation/cdl/en/statug/63033/HTML/default/viewer.htm#statug_phreg_sect019.htm. Accessed February 23, 2012
Sterne JA, White IR, Carlin JB,  et al.  Multiple imputation for missing data in epidemiological and clinical research: potential and pitfalls.  BMJ. 2009;338:b2393
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Newgard CD, Haukoos JS. Advanced statistics: missing data in clinical research, part 2: multiple imputation.  Acad Emerg Med. 2007;14(7):669-678
PubMed
Wells GA, Shea B, O'Connell D, Peterson J, Welch V, Tugwell P. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of non-randomised studies in meta-analyses. http://www.ohri.ca/programs/clinical_epidemiology/oxford.htm. Accessed November 18, 2011
Hu G, Jousilahti P, Barengo NC, Qiao Q, Lakka TA, Tuomilehto J. Physical activity, cardiovascular risk factors, and mortality among Finnish adults with diabetes.  Diabetes Care. 2005;28(4):799-805
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nelson KM, Boyko EJ, Koepsell T. All-cause mortality risk among a national sample of individuals with diabetes.  Diabetes Care. 2010;33(11):2360-2364
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Orfanos P, Trichopoulos D. Diet and physical activity in relation to overall mortality amongst adult diabetics in a general population cohort.  J Intern Med. 2006;259(6):583-591
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Umpierre D, Ribeiro PA, Kramer CK,  et al.  Physical activity advice only or structured exercise training and association with HbA1c levels in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  JAMA. 2011;305(17):1790-1799
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Fernhall B,  et al; American College of Sports Medicine; American Diabetes Association.  Exercise and type 2 diabetes: the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement.  Diabetes Care. 2010;33(12):e147-e167
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Mora S, Cook N, Buring JE, Ridker PM, Lee IM. Physical activity and reduced risk of cardiovascular events: potential mediating mechanisms.  Circulation. 2007;116(19):2110-2118
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Stewart KJ. Exercise training and the cardiovascular consequences of type 2 diabetes and hypertension: plausible mechanisms for improving cardiovascular health.  JAMA. 2002;288(13):1622-1631
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Thompson PD. Exercise and physical activity in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.  Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003;23(8):1319-1321
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wareham NJ, van Sluijs EM, Ekelund U. Physical activity and obesity prevention: a review of the current evidence.  Proc Nutr Soc. 2005;64(2):229-247
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Hart CL, Gruer L, Watt GC. Cause-specific mortality, social position, and obesity among women who had never smoked: 28-year cohort study.  BMJ. 2011;342:d3785
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bassett DR Jr, Pucher J, Buehler R, Thompson DL, Crouter SE. Walking, cycling, and obesity rates in Europe, North America, and Australia.  J Phys Act Health. 2008;5(6):795-814
PubMed
Hoevenaar-Blom MP, Wendel-Vos GC, Spijkerman AM, Kromhout D, Verschuren WM. Cycling and sports, but not walking, are associated with 10-year cardiovascular disease incidence: the MORGEN Study.  Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2011;18(1):41-47
PubMed
Berlin JA, Longnecker MP, Greenland S. Meta-analysis of epidemiologic dose-response data.  Epidemiology. 1993;4(3):218-228
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Westerterp KR. Assessment of physical activity: a critical appraisal.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;105(6):823-828
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nelson KM, Reiber G, Boyko EJ.NHANES III.  Diet and exercise among adults with type 2 diabetes: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).  Diabetes Care. 2002;25(10):1722-1728
PubMed   |  Link to Article

Figures

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Graphic Jump Location

Figure 1. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for associations between total physical activity (highest vs lowest category) and total (A) and cardiovascular (B) mortality for individual cohort studies, including the present study, and all the cohort studies combined. EPIC indicates European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition; black squares, estimates for the individual studies; solid horizontal lines, 95% CIs; and white diamonds and dashed vertical lines, combined estimates for the analysis (the width of the diamond represents the 95% CI).

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Graphic Jump Location

Figure 2. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for associations between leisure-time physical activity (highest vs lowest category) and total (A) and cardiovascular (B) mortality for individual cohort studies, including the present study, and all the cohort studies combined. EPIC indicates European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition; NHANES, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; black squares, estimates for the individual studies; solid horizontal lines, 95% CIs; and white diamonds and dashed vertical lines, combined estimates for the analysis (the width of the diamond represents the 95% CI).

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Graphic Jump Location

Figure 3. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for associations between walking (highest vs lowest category) and total (A) and cardiovascular (B) mortality for individual cohort studies, including the present study, and all the cohort studies combined. EPIC indicates European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition; black squares, estimates for the individual studies; solid horizontal lines, 95% CIs; and white diamonds and dashed vertical lines, combined estimates for the analysis (the width of the diamond represents the 95% CI).

Tables

Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 1. Baseline Characteristics of 5859 Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus Across Categories of Total Physical Activity
Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 2. HRs (95% CIs) for Associations Between Total Physical Activity, Leisure-Time Physical Activity, and Walking and Total and CVD Mortality in 5859 Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus
Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 3. Identified Published Prospective Cohort Studies on PA and Mortality in Individuals With Diabetes Mellitus

References

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Montori VM, Fernández-Balsells M. Glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: time for an evidence-based about-face?  Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(11):803-808
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Yudkin JS, Richter B, Gale EA. Intensified glucose lowering in type 2 diabetes: time for a reappraisal.  Diabetologia. 2010;53(10):2079-2085
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Berry J, Keebler ME, McGuire DK. Diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease: Pandora's box has been opened.  Herz. 2004;29(5):456-462
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Buse JB, Ginsberg HN, Bakris GL,  et al; American Heart Association; American Diabetes Association.  Primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in people with diabetes mellitus: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.  Diabetes Care. 2007;30(1):162-172
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PubMed   |  Link to Article
Hu FB, Manson JE. Walking: the best medicine for diabetes?  Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(12):1397-1398
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Nocon M, Hiemann T, Müller-Riemenschneider F, Thalau F, Roll S, Willich SN. Association of physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008;15(3):239-246
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Boulé NG, Haddad E, Kenny GP, Wells GA, Sigal RJ. Effects of exercise on glycemic control and body mass in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials.  JAMA. 2001;286(10):1218-1227
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Batty GD, Shipley MJ, Marmot M, Smith GD. Physical activity and cause-specific mortality in men with type 2 diabetes/impaired glucose tolerance: evidence from the Whitehall study.  Diabet Med. 2002;19(7):580-588
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bernsen RM, Nagelkerke NJ. Walking decreased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in older adults with diabetes.  J Clin Epidemiol. 2007;60(10):1090-1091
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Caspersen CJ, Fulton JE. Epidemiology of walking and type 2 diabetes.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40(7):(suppl)  S519-S528
PubMed
Ford ES, DeStefano F. Risk factors for mortality from all causes and from coronary heart disease among persons with diabetes: findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study.  Am J Epidemiol. 1991;133(12):1220-1230
PubMed
Gaziano T, Bubes V, Gaziano J. Exercise and mortality among men with diabetes in the Physicians' Health Study enrollment cohort.  Eur Heart J. 2002;23:(suppl)  S610
Gregg EW, Gerzoff RB, Caspersen CJ, Williamson DF, Narayan KM. Relationship of walking to mortality among US adults with diabetes.  Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(12):1440-1447
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Solomon C,  et al.  Physical activity and risk for cardiovascular events in diabetic women.  Ann Intern Med. 2001;134(2):96-105
PubMed
Hu G, Eriksson J, Barengo NC,  et al.  Occupational, commuting, and leisure-time physical activity in relation to total and cardiovascular mortality among Finnish subjects with type 2 diabetes.  Circulation. 2004;110(6):666-673
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Smith TC, Wingard DL, Smith B, Kritz-Silverstein D, Barrett-Connor E. Walking decreased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in older adults with diabetes.  J Clin Epidemiol. 2007;60(3):309-317
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Tanasescu M, Leitzmann MF, Rimm EB, Hu FB. Physical activity in relation to cardiovascular disease and total mortality among men with type 2 diabetes.  Circulation. 2003;107(19):2435-2439
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wei M, Gibbons LW, Kampert JB, Nichaman MZ, Blair SN. Low cardiorespiratory fitness and physical inactivity as predictors of mortality in men with type 2 diabetes.  Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(8):605-611
PubMed
Jonker JT, De Laet C, Franco OH, Peeters A, Mackenbach J, Nusselder WJ. Physical activity and life expectancy with and without diabetes: life table analysis of the Framingham Heart Study.  Diabetes Care. 2006;29(1):38-43
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Riboli E, Hunt KJ, Slimani N,  et al.  European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC): study populations and data collection.  Public Health Nutr. 2002;5(6B):1113-1124
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nöthlings U, Boeing H, Maskarinec G,  et al.  Food intake of individuals with and without diabetes across different countries and ethnic groups.  Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011;65(5):635-641
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Sluik D, Boeing H, Montonen J,  et al.  Associations between general and abdominal adiposity and mortality in individuals with diabetes mellitus.  Am J Epidemiol. 2011;174(1):22-34
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wareham NJ, Jakes RW, Rennie KL,  et al.  Validity and repeatability of a simple index derived from the short physical activity questionnaire used in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.  Public Health Nutr. 2003;6(4):407-413
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Whitt MC,  et al.  Compendium of physical activities: an update of activity codes and MET intensities.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000;32(9):(suppl)  S498-S504
PubMed
Cox DR, Oakes D. Analysis of Survival Data. London, England: Chapman & Hall; 1984
SAS Institute Inc.  SAS/STAT 9.2 User's Guide, Second Edition. http://support.sas.com/documentation/cdl/en/statug/63033/HTML/default/viewer.htm#statug_phreg_sect019.htm. Accessed February 23, 2012
Sterne JA, White IR, Carlin JB,  et al.  Multiple imputation for missing data in epidemiological and clinical research: potential and pitfalls.  BMJ. 2009;338:b2393
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Newgard CD, Haukoos JS. Advanced statistics: missing data in clinical research, part 2: multiple imputation.  Acad Emerg Med. 2007;14(7):669-678
PubMed
Wells GA, Shea B, O'Connell D, Peterson J, Welch V, Tugwell P. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for assessing the quality of non-randomised studies in meta-analyses. http://www.ohri.ca/programs/clinical_epidemiology/oxford.htm. Accessed November 18, 2011
Hu G, Jousilahti P, Barengo NC, Qiao Q, Lakka TA, Tuomilehto J. Physical activity, cardiovascular risk factors, and mortality among Finnish adults with diabetes.  Diabetes Care. 2005;28(4):799-805
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nelson KM, Boyko EJ, Koepsell T. All-cause mortality risk among a national sample of individuals with diabetes.  Diabetes Care. 2010;33(11):2360-2364
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Orfanos P, Trichopoulos D. Diet and physical activity in relation to overall mortality amongst adult diabetics in a general population cohort.  J Intern Med. 2006;259(6):583-591
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Umpierre D, Ribeiro PA, Kramer CK,  et al.  Physical activity advice only or structured exercise training and association with HbA1c levels in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  JAMA. 2011;305(17):1790-1799
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Colberg SR, Sigal RJ, Fernhall B,  et al; American College of Sports Medicine; American Diabetes Association.  Exercise and type 2 diabetes: the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement.  Diabetes Care. 2010;33(12):e147-e167
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Mora S, Cook N, Buring JE, Ridker PM, Lee IM. Physical activity and reduced risk of cardiovascular events: potential mediating mechanisms.  Circulation. 2007;116(19):2110-2118
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Stewart KJ. Exercise training and the cardiovascular consequences of type 2 diabetes and hypertension: plausible mechanisms for improving cardiovascular health.  JAMA. 2002;288(13):1622-1631
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Thompson PD. Exercise and physical activity in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.  Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2003;23(8):1319-1321
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wareham NJ, van Sluijs EM, Ekelund U. Physical activity and obesity prevention: a review of the current evidence.  Proc Nutr Soc. 2005;64(2):229-247
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Hart CL, Gruer L, Watt GC. Cause-specific mortality, social position, and obesity among women who had never smoked: 28-year cohort study.  BMJ. 2011;342:d3785
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bassett DR Jr, Pucher J, Buehler R, Thompson DL, Crouter SE. Walking, cycling, and obesity rates in Europe, North America, and Australia.  J Phys Act Health. 2008;5(6):795-814
PubMed
Hoevenaar-Blom MP, Wendel-Vos GC, Spijkerman AM, Kromhout D, Verschuren WM. Cycling and sports, but not walking, are associated with 10-year cardiovascular disease incidence: the MORGEN Study.  Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2011;18(1):41-47
PubMed
Berlin JA, Longnecker MP, Greenland S. Meta-analysis of epidemiologic dose-response data.  Epidemiology. 1993;4(3):218-228
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Westerterp KR. Assessment of physical activity: a critical appraisal.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;105(6):823-828
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nelson KM, Reiber G, Boyko EJ.NHANES III.  Diet and exercise among adults with type 2 diabetes: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).  Diabetes Care. 2002;25(10):1722-1728
PubMed   |  Link to Article

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Supplemental Content

Sluik D, Buijsse B, Muckelbauer R. Physical activity and mortality in individuals with diabetes mellitus: a prospective study and meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. Published online August 6, 2012. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3130.

eFigure 1. Flowchart of the systematic literature search of prospective studies on physical activity and mortality in individuals with diabetes mellitus published up to December 2010. The key words used were diabetes AND (physical activity OR exercise OR lifestyle) AND (mortality OR death OR survival); limits: humans.

eFigure 2. Funnel plot for 5 studies of total physical activity and total mortality.

eTable. Quality Assessment of the Included Studies (Newcastle-Ottawa Scale)

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