Document Type




To assess the extent to which the established age-related decline in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is augmented in adult men with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Participants and Methods

This study used data from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study, conducted between September 18, 1974, and August 3, 2006, in primarily non-Hispanic white, middle-to-upper class adults. The analyses were restricted to adult men with complete data on age, CRF, and T2DM (35,307 participants). Quantile regression models were used to estimate age-related differences in CRF, estimated using a maximal treadmill test, between persons with and without T2DM. Smoking status and birth cohort served as covariates.


Age-related declines in CRF were observed in men with and without T2DM. For men younger than 60 years, at low-mid percentiles of the CRF distribution the magnitude of the age-related decline in CRF was significantly higher (P-values=.00, .02) in men with T2DM than in those without T2DM. At upper percentiles, the decline with age between the 2 groups was virtually identical. Significant declines in CRF in men 45 years or younger were observed only at high levels of CRF for those without T2DM and at low levels of CRF for those with T2DM (P-values .00, .04).


This study reported that men younger than 60 years with T2DM at the low-mid CRF percentiles experience an accelerated age-related decline in CRF. Men younger than 60 years with T2DM exhibiting high levels of CRF experienced a decline in CRF comparable to men without T2DM. This study highlights the importance of incorporating sufficient levels of exercise or activity to maintain high CRF in men with T2DM.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Ortaglia, A., McDonald, S. M., Wirth, M. D., Sui, X., & Bottai, M. (2021). Differential age-related declines in cardiorespiratory fitness between people with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, 5(4), 743–752.

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