Background: Skeletal muscle is the biggest ’glucose sink’ in the body. Sarcopenia (age-related loss of muscle mass) is extremely common in older adults and is one of the factors responsible for the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in this population. We examined the association between bedside ultrasonic measures of muscle thickness and measures of glycemic control in older adults with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: 72 older adults (age >= 65) with type 2 diabetes were recruited sequentially from a geriatric medicine clinic (mean age 80.5±0.6 years, 26 women, 46 men). Each subject had glycosylated hemoglobin (HgAIC) lean body mass (LBM, by bioimpedance assay), and ultrasonic measures of muscle quantity (MT, vastus medialis muscle thickness) measured. Our initial models contained age, sex, bmi, and MT as predictor variables, and our outcome variable was HgAIC.

Results: In our final parsimonious models, HgAIC showed a significant positive association with increasing MT(Standardized β=0.237±0.116, R2 = 0.06, p=0.045) and a trend towards a negative correlation with LBM(Standardized β = -0.239±0.126, R2 = 0.07, p=0.063).

Conclusions: Unexpectedly, increased measures of muscle thickness were associated with worse, instead of improved, glycemic control. This suggests that other factors, such as muscle quality (myosteatosis) need to be considered in the older adult population with type 2 diabetes.


K.M. Madden: None. B. Feldman: None. S. Arishenkoff: None. S. Sy: None. G.S. Meneilly: Advisory Panel; Self; Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk Inc.


Allan M. McGavin Foundation

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