American Diabetes Association
DC20.0342.R2.HIIT_T1DSuppl.Tables.130620.docx (52.9 kB)

Effect of high-intensity interval training on glycemic control in adults with type 1 diabetes with overweight or obesity: a randomized controlled trial with partial cross-over

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posted on 2020-07-09, 20:29 authored by Angela S Lee, Nathan A Johnson, Margaret McGill, Jane Overland, Connie Luo, Callum J Baker, Sergio Martinez-Huenchullan, Jencia Wong, Jeffrey R Flack, Stephen M Twigg
Objective: To study the effect of 12 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on glycemic control in adults with type 1 diabetes with overweight or obesity.

Research Design and Methods: Thirty inactive adults with type 1 diabetes who had BMI≥25kg/m2 and HbA1c≥7.5% were randomized to 12 weeks of either: HIIT exercise intervention consisting of 4x4 minutes HIIT (85-95% HRpeak) performed thrice weekly, or usual care control. In a partial cross-over design, the control group subsequently performed the 12-week HIIT intervention. The primary endpoint was the change in HbA1c from baseline to 12 weeks. Glycemic and cardiometabolic outcomes were measured at 0, 12, and 24 weeks.

Results: Participants were aged 44±10 years, with diabetes duration 19±11 years, and BMI 30.1±3.1 kg/m2. HbA1c decreased from 8.63 ± 0.66% at baseline to 8.10 ± 1.04% at 12 weeks in the HIIT intervention group (p=0.01), however this change was not significantly different to the control group (HIIT -0.53 ± 0.61%, control -0.14 ± 0.48%, p=0.08). In participants who undertook at least 50% of the prescribed HIIT intervention, the HbA1c reduction was significantly greater than control (HIIT -0.64 ± 0.64% (n=9), control -0.14 ± 0.48% (n=15), p=0.04). There were no differences in insulin dose, hypoglycemia on continuous glucose monitoring, blood pressure, blood lipids, body weight or body composition between groups.

Conclusions: Overall, there was no significant reduction in HbA1c with a 12-week HIIT intervention in adults with type 1 diabetes. However glycaemic control may improve for people who undertake HIIT with greater adherence.


Sydney Medical School Foundation, University of Sydney and a Diabetes Australia Research Program Grant supported consumables costs. Abbott Diabetes Care generously provided the Freestyle Libre Pro glucose sensors. Dr Angela Lee was supported by an NHMRC of Australia Postgraduate Scholarship and a JDRF Australia Top-up scholarship. Dr Sergio Martinez-Huenchullan was supported by a National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) Becas Chile Scholarship for foreign PhD programs (Resolución Exenta #2185/2015).


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