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There is no dose–response relationship between the amount of exercise and improvement in HbA1c in interventions over 12 weeks in patients with type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis and meta-regression

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Acta Diabetologica
Issue number11
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)1399-1415
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/08/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Abstract: Aims: Aerobic exercise is well recognised as an effective treatment for people with type 2 diabetes but the optimal amount of aerobic exercise to improve glycaemic control remains to be determined. Thus, the aim of this meta-analysis and meta-regression was to assess the impact of volume and intensity of aerobic exercise on glycaemic control. Methods: Medline, Cochrane, Embase, and Web of Science databases were searched up until 15 December 2020 for the terms “aerobic exercise AND glycaemic control”, “type 2 diabetes AND exercise”, and “exercise AND glycaemic control AND Type 2 diabetes AND randomised control trial”. We included (i) randomised control trials of ≥ 12 weeks, (ii) trials where participants had type 2 diabetes and were aged 18 or over, and (iii) the trial reported HbA1c concentrations pre- and post-intervention. Two reviewers selected studies and extracted data. Data are reported as standardised mean difference (SMD) and publication bias was assessed using funnel plots. Results: A total of 5364 original titles were identified. Sixteen studies were included in the meta-analysis. Aerobic exercise reduced HbA1c versus control (SMD = 0.56 (95% CI 0.3–0.82), p < 0.001). There were also significant reductions in BMI (SMD = 0.76 (95% CI 0.25–1.27), p < 0.05). There was no dose–response relationship between improvement in HbA1c and the intensity and volume of the intervention (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Twelve-week or longer aerobic exercise programmes improve glycaemic control and BMI in adults with type 2 diabetes. Longer or more intense interventions appear to confer no additional benefit on HbA1c.