Among those with prediabetes, those who are physically active show significantly higher levels of physical and mental health-related quality of life scores than those who are inactive, according to a recent Canadian study. Prediabetes refers to individuals with impaired fasting glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance.
Researchers surveyed 232 participants in Northern Alberta in 2008 who were diagnosed with prediabetes to gather self-reported information on demographics, general health, physical activity and health-related quality of life. The surveys were mailed to a random sample of individuals registered in regional prediabetes education classes (2004-2007). Of those completing the survey, 38 percent were meeting prediabetes physical activity guidelines. The researchers found a significantly higher score for quality of life in physical and mental health for those who were more physically active even after accounting for possible differences based on age, gender, body mass index, income and smoking.
The limitations of the cross-sectional study design prevent any conclusions regarding the way in which physical activity and health-related quality of life are associated: whether reduced physical activity is a result of poor physical and mental health or lower levels of physical activity lead to poor physical and mental health. Researchers suggest that future studies be designed to allow a deeper understanding of this relationship. They also recommend greater examination of the psychosocial, policy and environmental factors that influence the adoption of physical activity among individuals with prediabetes.
See “Physical Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Individuals with Prediabetes,” Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, (2010; 90: 15-21), available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed.