Timing of exercise linked to heart disease risk in people with type 2 diabetes

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In a new study, researchers found a link between the timing of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and heart fitness and health risks for people who have type 2 diabetes and obesity or overweight.

They found that, in its study of 2,035 people, men who performed physical activity in the morning had the highest risks of developing coronary heart disease, independent of the amount and intensity of weekly physical activity.

Men most active midday had lower cardiorespiratory fitness levels.

In women, they did not find an association between specific activity timing and heart disease risk or cardiorespiratory fitness.

The research was conducted by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Joslin Diabetes Center.

Many studies have demonstrated the role of physical activity in improving heart health for patients with type 2 diabetes.

But whether exercising at a certain time of the day promises an added health bonus for this population is still largely unknown.

In the study, the team analyzed data from 2035 people with type 2 diabetes and overweight or obesity.

They tracked the ‘clock-time’ of daily moderate-to-vigorous activity, including labor-intensive work that extends beyond more traditionally defined forms of exercise.

To assess the participants’ risk level of experiencing heart disease risk over the next four years, the researchers used the well-known, sex-specific Framingham risk score algorithm.

They say that sex-specific physiological differences may help explain the more prominent correlations seen in males, who tend to be at risk of heart disease earlier in life.

However, the researchers note that other factors could also be at play. It remains unclear why time-specific activity may be linked to different levels of health and fitness.

One author of the study is Jingyi Qian, Ph.D.

The study is published in Diabetes Care.

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