Background: The extent to which change in physical activity can modify the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals at high cardiovascular risk is uncertain. We investigated whether baseline and change in objectively-assessed ambulatory activity is associated with the risk of a cardiovascular event in individuals at high cardiovascular risk with impaired glucose tolerance.
Methods: We assessed prospective data from the NAVIGATOR trial involving 9306 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance who were recruited in 40 countries between January, 2002, and January, 2004. Participants also either had existing cardiovascular disease (if age ≥50 years) or at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor (if age ≥55 years). Participants were followed-up for cardiovascular events (defined as cardiovascular mortality, non-fatal stroke, or myocardial infarction) for 6 years on average and had ambulatory activity assessed by pedometer at baseline and 12 months. Adjusted Cox proportional hazard models quantified the association of baseline and change in ambulatory activity (from baseline to 12 months) with the risk of a subsequent cardiovascular event, after adjustment for each other and potential confounding variables. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.govNCT00097786.
Findings: During 45,211 person-years follow-up, 531 cardiovascular events occurred. Baseline ambulatory activity (hazard ratio [HR] per 2000 steps per day 0·90, 95% CI 0·84-0·96) and change in ambulatory activity (0·92, 0·86-0·99) were inversely associated with the risk of a cardiovascular event. Results for change in ambulatory activity were unaffected when also adjusted for changes in body-mass index and other potential confounding variables at 12 months.
Interpretation: In individuals at high cardiovascular risk with impaired glucose tolerance, both baseline levels of daily ambulatory activity and change in ambulatory activity display a graded inverse association with the subsequent risk of a cardiovascular event.
Funding: Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
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