Aims/Introduction: The present study aimed to examine cross-sectional associations between objectively measured sedentary time and the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a general Japanese population, and to elucidate possible mediating roles of diet, obesity and insulin resistance in this relationship. Materials and Methods: A total of 1,758 community-dwelling individuals aged 40–79 years wore an accelerometer for ≥7 days and underwent a comprehensive health examination in 2012. Diabetes mellitus was diagnosed by a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. The associations of sedentary time with the presence of diabetes mellitus and the levels of the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance were estimated by logistic and linear regression models. Results: After adjustment for demographic and lifestyle factors including moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, participants who spent ≥10 h in sedentary time had a significantly higher odds ratio of the presence of diabetes than those who spent <6 h in sedentary time (odds ratio 1.84, 95% confidence interval 1.02–3.31). This significant association remained after adjusting for overall and central obesity (as measured by body mass index and waist circumference), but weakened after adjusting for dietary energy intake or homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. Sedentary time was positively associated with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance levels among non-diabetic participants after adjusted for obesity or energy intake (P for trend <0.01). Conclusions: Longer sedentary time was associated with a higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a general Japanese population. Insulin resistance appeared to be mainly involved in this association. These results highlight the importance of public health strategies targeting reductions in sedentary time for the primary prevention of diabetes mellitus.
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