Physical activity and diabetes risk in the Kuwaiti population

Ahmad Alkhatib, Abdullah Alkandari, M Al Haddad , Jaakko Tuomilehto

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


The association between low physical activity (PA) and diabetes risk is established worldwide, but data are lacking in high-prevalence regions such as in Middle East. This study describes associations of PA with indicators of diabetes and associated risk factors in the Kuwaiti population. Analysis of the national cross-sectional survey involved 3915 Kuwaiti people aged 18-69 years. Self-reported PA amount spent in low to moderate recreational PA were calculated for weekly hours and categorized in tertiles (0-3, 3-7 and >7 h/day). Diabetes indicators [glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG)], and health risk factors of body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR), resting heart rate (RHR), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), total cholesterol (TChol), low and high-density lipoprotein (LDL, HDL) and triglycerides (TG) were analysed. PA levels were compared for gender differences, and for age (centiles), BMI categories, and HbA1c and FPG. Correlation coefficient between PA and all measured health risks was determined. Overall, PA levels were lower than WHO-recommended thresholds in both men (<4h /week) and women (<3h/week). PA level was significantly different between genders; women had lower PA than men (p<0.001), irrespective of age, BMI, and HbA1c. In women with prediabetes and diabetes (those with HbA1c > 6.0 % and FPG > 5.6 mmol.l-1) PA was lower compared with men (p<0.05). There was no correlation between PA level with any of the measured risk factors. Low PA levels in the Kuwaiti population requires population-level interventions, especially amongst women with prediabetes and diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2019
Event5th UK Congress on Obesity - Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Sept 20197 Sept 2019


Conference5th UK Congress on Obesity
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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