BACKGROUND - Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a prevalent chronic disease worldwide. The prevalence of T2DM is increasing rapidly in China. Understanding the contribution of modifiable lifestyle factors on T2DM risk is imperative to prevent the development of T2DM in China.
METHODS - We examined associations between lifestyle factors including physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption with incidence of T2DM among middle-aged and elderly men in urban Shanghai. Information on socio-demographics, lifestyle habits, dietary habits, and disease history was collected via in-person interviews. Anthropometric measurements were taken. A total of 51 464 Chinese men aged 40-74 years free of T2DM, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke at baseline were included in the current study. Incident T2DM was identified through follow-up surveys conducted every 2-3 years. Cox proportional hazard analyses were conducted to evaluate associations between lifestyle risk factors and incidence of T2DM.
RESULTS - We documented 1304 new cases of T2DM during 276 929 person-years of follow-up (average: 5.4 years). Physical activity was inversely associated with T2DM risk. Daily living, commuting, and total physical activity METs had inverse negative dose-response relationships with T2DM (P-trend = 0.0033, 0.0022, and <0.0001, respectively). Regular participation in exercise or sports reduced T2DM risk (HR = 0.86, 95%CI: 0.76-0.98). Moderate alcohol intake (1-3 drinks/day) was inversely related to T2DM risk (HR = 0.80, 95%CI: 0.67-0.94). Cigarette smoking, on the other hand, was associated with increased T2DM risk; HRs were 1.25 (95%CI: 1.00-1.56) for smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day and 1.28 (95%CI: 1.04-1.57) for smoking more than 40 pack-years.
CONCLUSIONS - Physical activity and moderate alcohol intake are inversely associated with T2DM risk, whereas smoking was positively associated with T2DM risk among middle-age and elderly Chinese men. Preventive measures should be developed to focus on these modifiable lifestyle habits to reduce the upward trend of T2DM.