Association between Leisure-Time and Commute Physical Activity and Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil)

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Jan 1;20(1):806. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20010806.


Background: Diabetes is an important public health problem due to its health impairments and high costs for health services. We analyzed the relationship between the domains of physical activity at leisure-time (LTPA) and at commuting (CPA) with diabetes and pre-diabetes in an ELSA-Brasil study.

Methods: Data from 11,797 participants (52.5% women, 49.1 ± 7.2 years) were analyzed. LTPA and CPA were measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Diabetes and pre-diabetes were defined by medical history, medication use to treat diabetes or blood glucose. Logistic regression models were performed to estimate the association between LTPA and CPA with diabetes and pre-diabetes after adjustment for sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors.

Results: The prevalence of LTPA and CPA was 24.4% and 34%, respectively. Physically active participants at LTPA were less likely to have pre-diabetes (OR = 0.86 [95% CI = 0.77-0.95]) and diabetes (OR = 0.80 [95% CI = 0.69-0.93]), compared with inactive participants. No association between CPA and diabetes/pre-diabetes was observed. LTPA was inversely associated with diabetes among men (OR = 0.73 [95% CI = 0.60-0.89]), but was not associated among women. Women who were active (OR = 0.78 [95% CI = 0.67-0.90]) (OR = 0.79 [95% CI = 0.65-0.95]) at LTPA were less likely to have pre-diabetes, than inactive women.

Conclusion: LTPA was inversely associated with diabetes and pre-diabetes in the ELSA-Brasil participants. A different behavior was observed between genders.

Keywords: chronic diseases; epidemiology; exercise; insulin resistance; lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prediabetic State* / epidemiology
  • Transportation

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (Science and Technology Department) and the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology (Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos and CNPq National Research Council) (grants of baseline: 01 06 0010.00 RS, 01 06 0212.00 BA, 01 06 0300.00 ES, 01 06 0278.00 MG, 01 06 0115.00 SP, 01 06 0071.00 RJ). The sponsors have no involvement with study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript or in the submission of the manuscript for publication.