Prognostic value of exercise capacity in incident diabetes: a country with high prevalence of diabetes

Abdelrahman A. Jamiel, Husam I. Ardah, Amjad M. Ahmed, Mouaz H. Al-Mallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a fast-growing health problem that imposes an enormous economic burden. Several studies demonstrated the association between physical inactivity and predicting the incidence of diabetes. However, these prediction models have limited validation locally. Therefore, we aim to explore the predictive value of exercise capacity in the incidence of diabetes within a high diabetes prevalence population.

METHODOLOGY: A retrospective cohort study including consecutive patients free of diabetes who underwent clinically indicated treadmill stress testing. Diabetic patients at baseline or patients younger than 18 years of age were excluded. Incident diabetes was defined as an established clinical diagnosis post-exercise testing date. The predictive value of exercise capacity was examined using Harrell's c-index, net reclassification index (NRI), and integrated discrimination index (IDI).

RESULTS: A total of 8,722 participants (mean age 46 ± 12 years, 66.3% were men) were free of diabetes at baseline. Over a median follow-up period of 5.24 (2.17-8.78) years, there were 2,280 (≈ 26%) new cases of diabetes. In a multivariate model adjusted for conventional risk factors, we found a 12% reduction in the risk of incident diabetes for each METs achieved (HR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.88-0.92; P < 0.001). Using Cox regression, exercise capacity improved the prediction ability beyond the conventional risk factors (AUC = 0.62 to 0.66 and c-index = 0.62 to 0.68).

CONCLUSION: Exercise capacity improved the overall predictability of diabetes. Patients with reduced exercise capacity are at high risk for developing incidence diabetes. Improvement of both physical activity and functional capacity represents a preventive measure for the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number297
Pages (from-to)297
JournalBMC Endocrine Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 30 2022


  • Exercise Capacity
  • Incident Diabetes
  • Metabolic equivalent of tasks (METs)
  • Net reclassification index
  • Predictive modeling
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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