African Journal of Biomedical Research

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Exercise Capacity in Type 2 Diabetes Patients: A Preliminary Investigation

AF Adeniyi, AE Uloko, I Sani-Suleiman


To enhance glycaemic control and improve general well being, physical exercises, in addition to drugs and/or diet are usually prescribed to patients with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (T2D). Assessment of the capacity of these patients to exercise based on the simple Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT) is however not sufficiently documented. We compared the exercise capacities of 58 T2D volunteers matched with 60 non-diabetic individuals using the 6MWT on a 50-meter corridor. The self paced Six Minutes Walk Distance (6MWD) was our outcome measure and it was taken as a display of the exercise capacity of the participants. The diabetic participants had significantly lower (t = 30.5046, P < 0.05) 6MWD (318.57 ± 43.7, 95% CI = 306.74-329.25 m) than the non-diabetic sample (596. 43 ± 54.78, 95% CI = 582.57-610.29 m) indicating lower exercise capacity. In the diabetic sample, we found significant differences in the 6MWD of the age groups (F = 9.4738, P < 0.05) and body mass index classifications (F = 3.3416, P < 0.05) but not for the duration of their diabetes. We found exercise capacity to be lower in patients with T2D than non-diabetic subjects and this was found to be lower in T2D patients who were older and overweight or obese. Exercise prescriptions for T2D patients should consider these factors to avoid exercise induced eventualities.

Key Words: Functional capacity, 6 Minute Walk Test, Body Mass Index

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