Last updated on February 2018

Effects of Exercise Training Intensity on Fitness and Insulin Sensitivity in African Americans


Brief description of study

African Americans are at a substantially greater type 2 diabetes risk compared to Caucasians; however, very little data are available on the effects of exercise training on type 2 diabetes risk factors in at risk African Americans. The present proposal will evaluate the effects of 6 months of moderate versus vigorous intensity aerobic exercise training on fitness, insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial capacity, skeletal muscle oxidative/insulin sensitivity markers, adiposity, and quality of life in African Americans.

Detailed Study Description

African Americans have a much greater risk of type 2 diabetes compared to Caucasians in the United States. Similarly, recent evidence has emerged that fitness level, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes also tends to be lower in African Americans. Many scientific studies have shown that exercise training has a beneficial impact on fitness levels and a variety of other type 2 diabetes risk factors such as the reduction of glucose/insulin levels, and body fat Importantly, studies performed in mostly Caucasian populations suggest that exercise training at a vigorous intensity may promote greater improvements in type 2 diabetes risk factors compared to moderate intensity exercise, which may suggest that it has greater promise in reducing type 2 diabetes risk. However, few exercise training studies compare the health benefits of different exercise training programs (such as exercise intensity) in African Americans, which is clinically important due to their greater type 2 diabetes risk, and that fact that they are less likely to meet public health recommendations for physical activity compared to their Caucasian counterparts.

The High Intensity exercise to Promote Accelerated improvements in CardiorEspiratory fitness (HI-PACE) study will evaluate the effect of exercise intensity on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and insulin sensitivity in obese (BMI: 30-45) African Americans (40-65 yrs.) with at least 1 additional T2D risk factor. Participants (n=60) will be recruited in collaboration with the ECU Center for Health Disparities, and subsequently randomized to moderate intensity (MOD-INT, n=20) or high intensity (HIGH-INT, n=20) aerobic exercise training, or to a control group (CON, n=20) for 24 weeks. Supervised exercise training will be performed at a heart rate associated with ~50% and ~75% of VO2 max in the MOD-INT and the HIGH-INT groups, respectively at the same exercise volume of 600 MET-minutes per week (consistent with public health recommendations). The primary outcome is the change in CRF, which will be assessed at baseline, mid-intervention, and follow-up. Insulin sensitivity will be measured via an intravenous glucose tolerance test at baseline and follow-up. Other secondary measures include mitochondrial oxidative capacity using infrared and measurements on muscle biopsies (PGC-1 and other indices of mitochondrial content), the expression of a protein involved with insulin action (GLUT-4 expression) in skeletal muscle as well as systemic inflammation, adiposity, quality of life and exercise enjoyment measures.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02892331

Find a site near you

Start Over

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC United States
2.51miles
  Connect »

Recruitment Status: Open


Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team


Receive Emails About New Clinical Trials!

Sign up for our FREE service to receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.