To investigate the relationship between long-term weight training and mortality in male health professionals with and without type 2 diabetes.


We analyzed 31,140 men without type 2 diabetes and 2,588 with type 2 diabetes from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1992–2018). Information on weight training was repeatedly assessed using a biennial questionnaire. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs.


During up to 26 years of follow-up, we documented 12,607 deaths (988 deaths among men with type 2 diabetes). Among participants without type 2 diabetes, 1–59 and 60–149 min/week of long-term weight training were associated with 14% (HR 0.86; 95% CI 0.82–0.89) and 8% (HR 0.92; 95% CI 0.85–0.99) lower mortality versus no weight training, respectively, after adjustment for aerobic activity. However, ≥150 min/week of weight training was not significantly associated with mortality (HR 1.05; 95% CI 0.91–1.20; overall P trend = 0.94; P quadratic < 0.001). Meeting the recommended aerobic physical activity guideline (≥150 min/week) and performing any weight training were associated with 20–34% lower mortality. Among participants with type 2 diabetes, a moderate level of pre-diagnosis weight training was associated with lower mortality, whereas post-diagnosis weight training showed no association. Performing both weight training and aerobic activity before and after diagnosis was associated with lower mortality.


A moderate level of long-term weight training was associated with lower mortality, independently of aerobic activity, among male health professionals with and without type 2 diabetes. Addition of weight training to aerobic activities may provide further benefit in mortality risk reduction. Studies are required to confirm our findings in diverse populations.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21397860.

D.H.L. and X.L. contributed equally as first authors. X.Z. and E.L.G. contributed equally as last authors.

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