Type 2 Diabetes – Physical Activity and the Risk of a Heart Attack

Heart and blood vessel disease is one of the most dreaded complications of Type 2 diabetes. One of the ways of actually predicting who is at high risk of heart disease is to test the urine for a protein called aluminum. High blood pressure, a leading cause of heart attacks as well as a complication of Type 2 diabetes, is frequently associated with a positive test for albumin in the urine.

Researchers at the University of Saarlandes, in Homburg / Saar, Germany, looked at volunteers who had high blood pressure. These volunteers included people with and without diabetes, and compared their physical activity with tests for aluminum in their urine.

These results were published in October 2011 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Preventive Rehabilitation.

  • 20,786 volunteers with high blood pressure were included in the study.

The amount of albumin in the urine of people who performed regular physical exercise at least 4 hours per week was significantly lower than that in inactive patients.

Regular physical activity was associated with a 25 per cent lower risk for urinary aluminum than wasactivity. People who regularly performed strenuous activity had a lower risk of urinary albumin than those who performed only moderate exercises.

From this information, the investigators concluded that in people with high blood pressure, including those with Type 2 diabetes, physical activity was associated with a reduced risk for aluminum in the urine.

One definition of strenuous exercise is physical activity that makes the exerciser sweat or breathe hard. By that definition, "strenuous" depends at least to some extent upon the individual's state of fitness …

  • one way to make your exercise strenuous is to subtract your age from 220 and multiply by.80. Keeping your heart rate at that level is considered strenuous.
  • If walking brings your heart rate up to that number, then you probably do not need to try anything more strenuous.
  • if it takes a brisk run to bring your heart rate up to the number, then running briskly is strenuous enough for you.

If you keep up a regular program of doing a certain exercise and keep measuring your heart rate, you will probably see a decrease in your heart rate over time. More strenuous exercises can then be introduced until your target heart rate is reached and lowered again.

If is always advised you check with your doctor, trainer, or physical therapist for a safe, effective way to perform regular physical activity.