Walking and type 2 diabetes risk using CANRISK scores among older adults

Steven T. Johnson, Dean T. Eurich, Ellina Lytvyak, Ana Mladenovic, Lorian M. Taylor, Jeffrey A. Johnson, Jeff K. Vallance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to determine the association between pedometer-assessed steps and type 2 diabetes risk using the Public Health Agency of Canada-developed 16-item Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire (CANRISK) among a large population-based sample of older adults across Alberta, Canada. To achieve our study objective, adults without type 2 diabetes (N = 689) aged 55 years and older provided demographic data and CANRISK scores through computer-assisted telephone interviews between September and November 2012. Respondents also wore a step pedometer over 3 consecutive days to estimate average daily steps. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between achieving 7500 steps/day and risk of diabetes (low vs. moderate and high). Overall, 41% were male, average age was 63.4 (SD 5.5) years, body mass index was 26.7 (SD 5.0) kg/m2, and participants averaged 5671 (SD 3529) steps/day. All respondents indicated they were capable of walking for at least 10 min unassisted. CANRISK scores ranged from 13–60, with 18% in the low-risk category (<21). After adjustment, those not achieving 7500 steps/day (n = 507) were more than twice as likely to belong to the higher risk categories for type 2 diabetes compared with those walking ≥7500 steps/day (n = 182) (73.6% vs. 26.4%; odds ratio: 2.37; 95% confidence interval: 1.58 – 3.57). Among older adults without diabetes, daily steps were strongly and inversely associated with diabetes risk using the CANRISK score. Walking remains an important modifiable risk factor target for type 2 diabetes and achieving at least 7500 steps/day may be a reasonable target for older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct. 2016


  • Diabetes
  • Neighbourhood walkability
  • Screening
  • Walking


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