Objective: Diabetes has been suggested to be one of the risk factors of physical disability in older adults. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of sarcopenia in Korean older adults with diabetes compared to nondiabetic adults.

Methods: We analyzed 1,241 adults aged 70-84 years, who were enrolled in the Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study (KFACS). The skeletal muscle mass was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and muscle strength was assessed by hand grip strength (HGS). Physical performance was assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. Sarcopenia was defined using the criteria of Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia (AWGS) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).

Results: The mean age of the subjects was 76.2 ± 9.3 years, and 46.8% were men. Prevalence of diabetes was 31.1% in men and 23.8% in women. Subjects with diabetes had higher levels of fasting glucose, insulin, HbA1c, and HOMA-IR, compared to the nondiabetic group. In men, the prevalence of sarcopenia and muscle mass index was not different between diabetic and nondiabetic groups, but the diabetic subjects had lower HGS and gait speed, and they took longer time on TUG test compared to the nondiabetic group. In women, the prevalence of sarcopenia defined by AWGS was higher in the diabetic group compared to the nondiabetic group. Women with diabetes had lower gait speed and SPPB score, and took longer time on TUG test compared to the nondiabetic group, although HGS and muscle mass index were not different between the two group.

Conclusion: Prevalence of sarcopenia was higher in older women with diabetes compared to nondiabetic group, but those are not different in men. In older adults with diabetes, physical performance and muscle strength were reduced, whereas muscle mass was relatively preserved compared to the nondiabetic group. Thus, in older adults, diabetes might be associated with developing sarcopenia, especially in a form of decreased muscle quality.


S. Kang: None. T. Oh: None. S. Choi: None. K. Park: None. H. Jang: None.

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