Number of Daily Steps Related to CV Health in Children With Type 1 Diabetes

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Children walking outside
Children walking outside

(HealthDay News) — For children with type 1 diabetes, the number of daily steps is associated with early signs of atherosclerosis and adverse cardiovascular (CV) risk, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Noting that children with type 1 diabetes report lower physical activity levels than recommended, Jemma Anderson, MBBS, from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues examined the impact on vascular health. Ninety children with type 1 diabetes were included in the study; 88 wore an armband to measure activity levels for 23.2 hours per day.

The researchers found that 55% of the children took fewer than 10,000 steps per day. There was a correlation between the mean and maximum aortic intima-media thickness (aIMT) and the average number of steps per day. There was a decrease in the mean/maximum aIMT of 0.0082/0.0093 mm with an increase of 1000 steps/day. The correlation was independent of confounding variables including age, glycated hemoglobin, BMI, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels. 

An increase of 1000 steps/day correlated with lower CV risk (reductions noted in weight, blood pressure, and trigylcerides; increase in HDL cholesterol). No correlations were seen for carotid IMT.

"Our findings emphasize the importance of including advice for the benefits of exercise in routine education for children with type 1 diabetes," the researchers wrote.


  1. Anderson J, Couper JJ, Mpundu-Kaambwa C, et al. An Extra 1,000 Steps Per Day Relates to Improved Cardiovascular Health in Children With Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2016. doi:10.2337/dc16-0526.
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