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Effects of Traditional Chinese Exercises on Glycemic Control in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Sports Medicine 2024 June 15
BACKGROUND: Currently, most studies on the health benefits of traditional Chinese exercises on type 2 diabetes mellitus have explored the effects of a single type of traditional Chinese exercise on type 2 diabetes. Although a previous study evaluated the combined clinical effects of traditional Chinese exercises on type 2 diabetes, the studies included in that review were deficient in their study design. In addition, previous studies have not explored the ideal exercise dose that should be taken by patients with type 2 diabetes when performing traditional Chinese exercises.

OBJECTIVE: To understand whether the findings of previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses are still applicable and to try to address the deficiencies in the previous review, this review conducted a meta-analysis of existing randomized controlled trials to investigate the impact of traditional Chinese exercises on glycemic control with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: The literature was searched in seven Chinese and English databases. Randomized controlled trials published in English and Chinese, from database inception to March 2023, were included in this review. Two reviewers independently reviewed the search results, extracted the data, and assessed the risk of bias. A meta-analysis of the included studies was conducted using Rev Man 5.4 and Stata 15.1 software. Heterogeneity was investigated using a sensitivity analysis, a subgroup analysis, and a meta-regression analysis. Pre-determined subgroups included the duration of the intervention, frequency of exercise, and duration of the single exercise session.

RESULTS: A total of 31 randomized controlled trials (2077 subjects) were selected in this review. The meta-analysis revealed that traditional Chinese exercises were more effective than control groups in lowering glycated hemoglobin (Z = 6.06; mean difference [MD] =  - 0.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] - 0.85, - 0.44; P < 0.00001), fasting blood glucose (Z = 7.81; MD =  - 0.82, 95% CI - 1.03, - 0.62; P < 0.00001), 2-h plasma glucose (Z = 5.61; MD =  - 1.03, 95% CI - 1.39, - 0.67; P < 0.00001), total cholesterol (Z = 4.23; MD =  - 0.37, 95% CI - 0.54, - 0.20; P < 0.0001), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Z = 5.94; MD = 0.12, 95% CI 0.08, 0.16; P < 0.00001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (Z = 6.20; MD =  - 0.34, 95% CI - 0.44, - 0.23; P < 0.00001), and triglyceride levels (Z = 3.74; MD =  - 0.44, 95% CI - 0.67, - 0.21; P = 0.0002) among patients with type 2 diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS: Traditional Chinese exercises can significantly improve blood glucose and lipid levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. When performing traditional Chinese exercise interventions for type 2 diabetes, it is recommended that exercise programs are designed for 30-50 min/session, 4-5 sessions/week for at least 3 months.

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