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  1. Kunutsor, Setor K. PhD
  2. Khan, Hassan PhD
  3. Seidu, Samuel MD
  4. Laukkanen, Jari A. PhD


Purpose: There are inverse and independent associations between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and several adverse cardiometabolic outcomes. The percentage of age-predicted CRF (%age-predicted CRF) is comparable to absolute CRF as a risk indicator for some of these outcomes, but the association between %age-predicted CRF and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has not been previously investigated. We aimed to assess the association between %age-predicted CRF and T2D in a prospective cohort study.


Methods: Cardiorespiratory fitness, as measured directly by peak oxygen uptake, was assessed in 1901 men aged 42-60 yr who underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing. The age-predicted CRF estimated from a regression equation for age was converted to %age-predicted CRF using (achieved CRF/age-predicted CRF) x 100. Hazard ratios (95% CI) were estimated for T2D.


Results: During a median follow-up of 26.8 yr, 227 T2D cases were recorded. The risk of T2D decreased continuously with increasing %age-predicted CRF (P value for nonlinearity = .30). A 1-SD increase in %age-predicted CRF was associated with a decreased risk of T2D in analysis adjusted for established risk factors (HR = 0.68: 95% CI, 0.59-0.79). The corresponding adjusted risk was (HR = 0.51: 95% CI, 0.35-0.75) comparing extreme tertiles of %age-predicted CRF. The respective estimates for the association between absolute CRF and T2D were-HR (95% CI)-0.71 (0.60-0.83) and 0.64 (0.44-0.95).


Conclusions: Percentage of age-predicted CRF is linearly, inversely, and independently associated with the risk of incident T2D and may be a stronger risk indicator for T2D compared to absolute CRF in a general population of middle-aged and older men.