(HealthDay News) – Adults with clinical diabetes are more likely to experience cardiovascular death than those without diabetes; however, physical activity may negate the negative impact of diabetes on cardiovascular mortality, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Borge Moe, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Verdal, and colleagues analyzed data from 53,587 adults (25,159 men and 28,428 women) who participated in the population-based, prospective, Nord-Trøndelag Health (HUNT) cohort study.

According to the researchers, adults with diabetes had nearly a two-fold higher risk of death from cardiovascular diseases than those without diabetes. This higher risk appeared to be influenced by the level of physical activity. Adults with diabetes who were inactive had a three-fold higher risk than inactive adults without diabetes, whereas adults with diabetes who reported one to two hours per week of light activity had similar risk as inactive adults without diabetes.

“In conclusion, the results from this prospective cohort study show that inactive people with diabetes had almost three-fold higher risk of cardiovascular death compared with those without diabetes. The excess risk was reduced with increasing amount of leisure-time physical activity,” the authors write. “Thus physical activity may, to a large extent, cancel out the detrimental effect of diabetes on cardiovascular death, at least among those healthy enough to do physical exercise. Furthermore, the results suggest that one to two hours of non-vigorous activity may be sufficient to obtain a favorable effect.”

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