Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lifestyle intervention on the levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and fibrinogen in subjects participating in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS).
Methods: In five DPS centres, 321 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (intervention group, n=163; control group, n=158) had their PAI-1 and fibrinogen levels measured at baseline and at the 1-year follow-up. Additional 3-year follow-up assessments were carried out in a sample of 97 subjects in one of the DPS centres (Turku). The intervention programme included an intensive lifestyle intervention aiming at weight reduction, healthy diet and increased physical activity.
Results: During the first intervention year, PAI-1 decreased by 31% in the intervention group but showed no change in the control group (p<0.0001). In the Turku subgroup, the decrease in PAI-1 persisted throughout the 3-year follow-up. Changes in PAI-1 were associated with the number of lifestyle changes made during the first year (p=0.008). Weight reduction was the most important factor explaining the decrease in PAI-1. Changes in fibrinogen levels did not differ between the groups.
Conclusions/interpretation: In addition to the previously reported reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes in DPS participants with impaired glucose tolerance, the intensive dietary and exercise intervention had beneficial long-term effects on fibrinolysis as indicated by the reduced levels of PAI-1. These results suggest that elevated PAI-1 levels in obese subjects with impaired glucose tolerance are mostly reversible by lifestyle changes, especially those geared to weight reduction.