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Association of physical activity and sports participation with insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in people with type 1 diabetes.

AIM: To evaluate the association between physical activity (PA) and sports participation with insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

METHODS: People with T1D from a secondary and tertiary care centre were included. Questionnaire-derived PA was expressed in metabolic equivalent of task hours per week (METh/week). Insulin sensitivity was calculated with the estimated glucose disposal rate (eGDR). NAFLD was assessed by transient elastography (TE). Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were conducted, adjusted for age, sex, diabetes duration and BMI.

RESULTS: In total, 254 participants were included (men 56%, age 44 ± 14 years, diabetes duration 24 ± 14 years, median BMI 24.8 kg/m2 ), of which 150 participants underwent TE. Total PA (median 50.7 METh/week) was not significantly associated with insulin resistance (median eGDR 7.31 mg/kg/min) (beta -0.00, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.00) or with NAFLD (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.99-1.01). Participating in sports was significantly associated with eGDR (beta 0.94, 95% CI 0.48-1.41) and with NAFLD (OR 0.21, 95% CI 0.08-0.56).

CONCLUSIONS: In our T1D population, we could not find any dose-dependent association between PA, insulin resistance and NAFLD. People participating in sports had a lower degree of insulin resistance and lower odds for NAFLD.

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