Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aerobically Unfit Young Adults On Road To Diabetes In Middle Age

Date:
June 20, 2009
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Most healthy 25 year olds don't stay up at night worrying whether they are going to develop diabetes in middle age. But many should be concerned. Researchers have found young adults with low aerobic fitness levels are two to three times more likely to develop diabetes in 20 years than those who are fit. The study also shows that young women and young African-Americans are less fit, placing more of them at risk for diabetes.

Most healthy 25 year olds don't stay up at night worrying whether they are going to develop diabetes in middle age. The disease is not on their radar, and middle age is a lifetime away.

As it turns out, many should be concerned. Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have found that young adults (18 to 30 years old) with low aerobic fitness levels --as measured by a treadmill test -- are two to three times more likely to develop diabetes in 20 years than those who are fit.

The study also shows that young women and young African Americans are less aerobically fit than men and white adults in the same age group, placing a larger number of these population subgroups at risk for diabetes.

"These young adults are setting the stage for chronic disease in middle age by not being physically active and fit," said Mercedes Carnethon, lead author and assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School. "People who have low fitness in their late teens and 20's tend to stay the same later in life or even get worse. Not many climb out of that category."

The study will be published in the July issue of Diabetes Care.

In the study, the most important predictor of who will develop diabetes is the participants' Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of the body's fat content.

"The overwhelming importance of a high BMI to the development of diabetes was somewhat unexpected and leads us to think that activity levels need to be adequate not only to raise aerobic fitness, but also to maintain a healthy body weight," Carnethon said. "If two people have a similar level of fitness, the person with the higher BMI is more likely to develop diabetes."

Carnethon stressed that unfit young adults can avoid a future with diabetes by exercising and losing weight. "Improving your fitness through physical activity is one way you can modify your body fat," she said. "Research shows that combining regular physical activity with a carefully balanced diet can help most people maintain a healthy body weight and lower the likelihood of developing diabetes."

This is the longest observational study to focus on the relationship between aerobic fitness and the development of diabetes. Most previous research has focused on the self-reported health behavior of physical activity, but people don't always accurately report their activity level. Fitness, easily measured by a standard treadmill test, provides a more accurate measure than a self-report.

In addition, this study is the first to look at the development of diabetes over a 20- year period. Because diabetes develops over a long period of time, the number of people affected in the population rises with age. Previous studies that followed adults for a shorter period of time may have stopped short before diabetes was diagnosed.

Data from the study came from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, which began in January 1984 and ended in December 2001. The fitness study included 3,989 participants at baseline and 2,231 at the 20-year testing. The black and white men and women were 18 to 30 at the time of enrollment. Fasting blood sugar levels (the blood marker used to define diabetes) were measured at the beginning of the study and multiple times over 20 years.

The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Aerobically Unfit Young Adults On Road To Diabetes In Middle Age." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090618124944.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2009, June 20). Aerobically Unfit Young Adults On Road To Diabetes In Middle Age. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090618124944.htm
Northwestern University. "Aerobically Unfit Young Adults On Road To Diabetes In Middle Age." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090618124944.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins