Findings from new research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai suggest that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood is greatly increased by subpar physical fitness during adolescence. The study found that a combination of low muscle strength and low aerobic activity at age 18 was associated with a tripling of the risk for subsequent development of type 2 diabetes, even in individuals with a normal body mass index. The results are based on examination of health records of over 1.5 million male military conscripts in Sweden, whose comprehensive healthcare system and recordkeeping allowed for tracking of individual data over the course of decades. The findings are published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Lead author Casey Crump, MD, PhD, at Icahn School of Medicine stated, “This is the first study to examine early-life physical fitness in relation to the long-term risk for type 2 diabetes in adulthood, independent of BMI, family history, or socioeconomic factors.” Dr. Crump added, “Our findings suggest that prevention should start early in life and should include both aerobic and muscular conditioning.” Type 2 diabetes has more than doubled in prevalence over the past 30 years, and carries risk for a wide variety of comorbidities, including painful diabetic neuropathies.
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The journal abstract may be read here.