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  • Author: Pietro Galassetti x
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Brian D. Tran and Pietro Galassetti

The beneficial effects of exercise, including reduction of cardiovascular risk, are especially important in children with type 1 diabetes (T1DM), in whom incidence of lifetime cardiovascular complications remains elevated despite good glycemic control. Being able to exercise safely is therefore a paramount concern. Dysregulated metabolism in T1DM however, causes frequent occurrence of both hypo- and hyperglycemia, the former typically associated with prolonged, moderate exercise, the latter with higher intensity, if shorter, challenges. While very few absolute contraindications to exercising exist in these children, exercise should not be started with glycemia outside the 80–250 mg/dl range. Within this glycemic range, careful adjustments in insulin administration (reduction or infusion rate via insulin pumps, or overall reduction of dosage of multiple injections) should be combined with carbohydrate ingestion before/during exercise, based on prior, individual experience with specific exercise formats. Unfamiliar exercise should always be tackled with exceeding caution, based on known responses to other exercise formats. Finally, gaining a deep understanding of other complex exercise responses, such as the modulation of inflammatory status, which is a major determinant of the cardio-protective effects of exercise, can help determine which exercise formats and which individual metabolic conditions can lead to maximally beneficial health effects.

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Brian D. Tran, Szu-Yun Leu, Stacy Oliver, Scott Graf, Diana Vigil and Pietro Galassetti

Pediatric obesity typically induces insulin resistance, often later evolving into type 2 diabetes. While exercise, enhancing insulin sensitivity, is broadly used to prevent this transition, it is unknown whether alterations in the exercise insulin response pattern occur in obese children. Therefore, we measured exercise insulin responses in 57 healthy weight (NW), 20 overweight (OW), and 56 obese (Ob) children. Blood samples were drawn before and after 30min of intermittent (2min on, 1min off) cycling at ~80% VO2max. In a smaller group (14 NW, 6 OW, 15 Ob), a high-fat meal was ingested 45 min preexercise. Baseline glycemia was similar and increased slightly and similarly in all groups during exercise. Basal insulin (pmol/L) was significantly higher in Ob vs. other groups; postexercise, insulin increased in NW (+7 ± 3) and OW (+5 ± 8), but decreased in Ob (−15 ±5, p < .0167 vs. NW). This insulin drop in Ob was disproportionately more pronounced in the half of Ob children with higher basal insulin (Ob-H). In all groups, high-fat feeding caused a rapid rise in insulin, promptly corrected by exercise. In Ob, however, insulin rose again 30 min postexercise. Our data indicates a distinct pattern of exercise-induced insulin modulation in pediatric obesity, possibly modulated by basal insulin concentrations.

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Dan M. Cooper, Szu-Yun Leu, Candice Taylor-Lucas, Kim Lu, Pietro Galassetti and Shlomit Radom-Aizik

Consensus has yet to be achieved on whether obesity is inexorably tied to poor fitness. We tested the hypothesis that appropriate reference of cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) variables to lean body mass (LBM) would eliminate differences in fitness between high-BMI (≥ 95th percentile, n = 72, 50% female) and normal-BMI (< 85th percentile, n = 142, 49% female), otherwise-healthy children and adolescents typically seen when referencing body weight. We measured body composition with dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and CPET variables from cycle ergometry using both peak values and submaximal exercise slopes (peak VO2, ΔVO2/ΔHR, ΔWR/ΔHR, ΔVO2/ΔWR, and ΔVE/ΔVCO2). In contrast to our hypothesis, referencing to LBM tended to lessen, but did not eliminate, the differences (peak VO2 [p < .004] and ΔVO2/ΔHR [p < .02]) in males and females; ΔWR/ΔHR differed between the two groups in females (p = .041) but not males (p = .1). The mean percent predicted values for all CPET variables were below 100% in the high-BMI group. The pattern of CPET abnormalities suggested a pervasive impairment of O2 delivery in the high-BMI group (ΔVO2/ΔWR was in fact highest in normal-BMI males). Tailoring lifestyle interventions to the specific fitness capabilities of each child (personalized exercise medicine) may be one of the ways to stem what has been an intractable epidemic.

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Goutham Ganesan, Szu-yun Leu, Albert Cerussi, Bruce Tromberg, Dan M. Cooper and Pietro Galassetti

Near-infrared spectroscopy has long been used to measure tissue-specific O2 dynamics in exercise, but most published data have used continuous wave devices incapable of quantifying absolute Hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations. We used time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy to study exercising muscle (Vastus Lateralis, VL) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) Hb oxygenation in 11 young males (15.3 ± 2.1 yrs) performing incremental cycling until exhaustion (peak VO2 = 42.7 ± 6.1 ml/min/kg, mean peak power = 181 ± 38 W). Time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy measurements of reduced scattering (µs´) and absorption (µa) at three wavelengths (759, 796, and 833 nm) were used to calculate concentrations of oxyHb ([HbO2]), deoxy Hb ([HbR]), total Hb ([THb]), and O2 saturation (stO2). In PFC, significant increases were observed in both [HbO2] and [HbR] during intense exercise. PFC stO2% remained stable until 80% of total exercise time, then dropped (−2.95%, p = .0064). In VL, stO2% decreased until peak time (−6.8%, p = .01). Segmented linear regression identified thresholds for PFC [HbO2], [HbR], VL [THb]. There was a strong correlation between timing of second ventilatory threshold and decline in PFC [HbO2] (r = .84). These findings show that time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy can be used to study physiological threshold phenomena in children during maximal exercise, providing insight into tissue specific hemodynamics and metabolism.

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Jaime S. Rosa, Christina D. Schwindt, Stacy R. Oliver, Szu-Yun Leu, Rebecca L. Flores and Pietro R. Galassetti

Leukocytosis contributes to exercise-induced immune modulation, which is a mechanism of cardiovascular protection. However, this process is poorly defined in children. We therefore measured leukocytes in 45 healthy, 18 overweight, 16 type 1 diabetic, and 8 asthmatic children at pre, end-, and 30-min postexercise (30-min intermittent or 6-min continuous). In all groups, total leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes increased at end-exercise, but returned to baseline by 30-min postexercise, including neutrophils, previously reported to remain elevated for at least some exercise formats. This highly preserved pattern indicates the importance of the adaptive response to physical stress across multiple health conditions.

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Russell Jago, Kimberly L. Drews, Robert G. McMurray, Tom Baranowski, Pietro Galassetti, Gary D. Foster, Ester Moe and John B. Buse

This paper examined whether a two-year change in fitness, body mass index (BMI) or the additive effect of change in fitness and BMI were associated with change in cardiometabolic risk factors among youth. Cardiometabolic risk factors, BMI group (normal weight, overweight or obese) were obtained from participants at the start of 6th grade and end of 8th grade. Shuttle run laps were assessed and categorized in quintiles at both time points. Regression models were used to examine whether changes in obesity, fitness or the additive effect of change in BMI and fitness were associated with change in risk factors. There was strong evidence (p < .001) that change in BMI was associated with change in cardiometabolic risk factors. There was weaker evidence of a fitness effect, with some evidence that change in fitness was associated with change in total cholesterol, HDL-C, LDL-C and clustered risk score among boys, as well as HDL-C among girls. Male HDL-C was the only model for which there was some evidence of a BMI, fitness and additive BMI*fitness effect. Changing body mass is central to the reduction of youth cardiometabolic risk. Fitness effects were negligible once change in body mass had been taken into account.