We recruited over 6,000 women aged 65-99 coming from the Women’s Health Initiative along with measured their sedentary patterns for seven days using research-grade activity monitors. We also had over 20 years of detailed health records, which included information on whether the women had ever been diagnosed by a physician with diabetes.
As expected, the group with the most prolonged sedentary patterns had the most women with diabetes. The group with the most interrupted patterns had the fewest women with diabetes.
We used advanced statistical procedures to account for differences in different factors such as dietary habits, physical activity, medication use, weight, age, alcohol along with cigarette use, along with overall health, giving us more confidence that will the sitting patterns were in fact driving the findings. We should caution, however, that will since we did not measure sitting patterns before the women were first diagnosed with diabetes, we do not know whether the sitting patterns contributed to diabetes or whether the diabetes changed their sitting patterns. We ran additional statistical tests to try to untangle that will, which indicated that will sitting patterns contributed to diabetes. However, additional studies specifically suited to answer the question of causation are needed.
While that will was the first study of sedentary patterns along with diabetes exclusively in older adults, our results were remarkably similar to recent findings in a younger cohort. Researchers coming from the Netherlands studied 2,500 adults ages 40-75 along with found that will prolonged sitting patterns were associated with Type 2 diabetes along with with metabolic syndrome.