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Longer Diabetes Duration Increases Sarcopenia Risk in Older People, Study Finds

A recent study has found that a longer duration of diabetes, or developing the disease during midlife, worsens the risk of sarcopenia among older people.

Photo: An Elderly with Diabetes | InStyleHealth

The research involved 824 elderly patients, aged 65 – 84 years, who had no sarcopenia at baseline. From 2012 – 2017 follow-up, sarcopenia incidence was identified according to the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia criteria.

What is sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is defined as a medical condition characterized by loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. While it is primarily a disease of the elderly, its development may be correlated with conditions that are not exclusively seen in older people.

Majority of the participants did not have diabetes. The disease was diagnosed in midlife in 173 patients and later in life for 99 patients. Within the follow-up period, 47 participants  or 5.7% developed sarcopenia.

Utilizing the logistic regression analysis has revealed that those with diabetes were more than twice as likely to develop sarcopenia than their non-diabetic counterparts. The analysis was adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, comorbidities, diet & lifestyle, and medical history.

Breaking down according to the timing of diabetes, researchers saw that being diagnosed with the disease in midlife was a strong risk factor for sarcopenia, increasing its risk by more than three times. Later-life diagnosis, however, had no significant impact on the sarcopenia risk based on the findings.

Furthermore, the risk of sarcopenia also increased with a longer diabetes duration. For those who have had diabetes for >15 years were nearly 5 times as likely to have sarcopenia than the non-diabetics.

The researchers stated that the results suggest the possibility that the decreasing duration of diabetes by prevention of diabetes in midlife reduces the risk of incident sarcopenia in later life in the general Japanese population.

For complete details of the clinical study, click here.


Source: J Diabetes Investig 2021;doi:10.1111/jdi.13550

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