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Muscle-Building Exercise Linked to Insulin Sensitivity

Workouts also associated with lower fasting insulin levels

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women who participate in muscle-strengthening activities may be increasing their sensitivity to insulin, according to the results of a large population-based study in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

Yiling J. Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data on 4,504 adults without diabetes who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 (age range 20 to 79 years). Fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were assayed and insulin sensitivity was measured using the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI). The subjects self-reported their levels of muscle-strengthening activities in a month.

After adjustment for confounders -- including age and race/ethnicity -- men who engaged in low, moderate and high levels of muscle-strengthening activities had mean QUICKI levels of 33.5, 34.1 and 34.4, respectively. Among women, low, medium and high levels of muscle-strengthening activities were associated with QUICKI levels of 34.0, 35.0 and 35.3, respectively.

"Muscle-strengthening activities may be a realistic and effective way to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease," the authors conclude.

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