To test the hypotheses that (1) people with neuromuscular disease (NMD) have multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes and (2) these risk factors worsen over time.
Longitudinal testing with average 2.5-year follow-up.
Human performance laboratory of a university.
Eleven ambulatory volunteers with slowly progressive NMD and 8 able-bodied controls, group-matched for age and body mass index (BMI) at baseline.
Percentage of body fat (%BF), physical activity, energy expenditure, blood lipids and glucose, and blood pressure.
At baseline, NMD subjects were more obese (37%BF vs 34%BF, respectively) and more sedentary than the controls, spending less time in total activity (144 min/d vs 214 min/d) and in exercise (11 min/d vs 45 min/d). The NMD group also had numerous cardiovascular and metabolicrisk factors, with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high BMI, and high triglyceride being the most common. Additionally, 55% of the NMD group satisfied the criteria for metabolic syndrome, versus 0% in the control group. Most parameters did not significantly worsen during the average 2.5-year follow-up period in either group.
People with NMD are at high risk for developing chronic diseases resulting from obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Intervention studies aimed at reducing their risk for such chronic diseases are warranted.