Pennington researches effects of exercise on blood sugar; seeks African American men to participate

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 5:05pm

Pennington Biomedical Research Center is recruiting volunteers for a clinical trial to examine how exercise affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar in African American men.

This study, called ARTIIS: Aerobic Plus Resistance Training and Insulin Sensitivity in African American Men, is open to African American men age 35-70 with a family history of diabetes and not currently physically active.

The principal investigator of ARTIIS, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is Robert L. Newton, Jr., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Physical Activity and Ethnic Minority Health Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical.

It is estimated that between 15 to 20 percent of African Americans have diabetes. Diabetes is associated with heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and other health issues that affect African Americans in high rates. The prevalence of diabetes has increased more in African Americans than any other ethnic group in the past 15 years. Research has shown that individuals who increase levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity have a lower risk of developing diabetes.

Eligble participants will be randomly assigned to one of two study groups: Exercise Group or Healthy Living Group. Once enrolled, participants will complete 20 weeks of their randomly assigned program. Participants in the Exercise Group will complete a 5-month exercise program at a participating YMCA location. The Exercise Group will exercise 3-4 times per week for approximately 60 minutes per session. Participants in the Healthy Living group will receive regular information on health conditions specific to African Americans and will receive a 5-month YMCA membership at no cost. All study-related procedures will also be provided at no cost to the participant.

"We know very little about the beneficial health effects of exercise on African American men because not enough of these men were included in previous research studies. This is why ARTIIS is so important, it will be one of the first studies to test the effects of regular exercise on blood sugar control in African American men." said Newton.
The study will require participants to complete an orientation visit, two educational visits and five clinic visits. Participants will receive up to $250 for participation and up to a 5-month membership at the YMCA.

To determine eligibility, call 225-763-3000, or email Individuals can also learn more at


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