July 12, 2018
2 min read

Fasting glucose plus physical performance may predict diabetes risk

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Among older Chinese adults with impaired fasting glucose, elevated glucose level together with reduced muscle strength was associated with glycemic deterioration and may be a predictor of increased risk for diabetes in this population, according to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes.

“There is [a] lack of evidence with the comprehensive comparison of factors which could be responsible for [the] high prevalence of diabetes in older adults with IFG,” Wen Zhang, of the department of rehabilitation medicine, TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital, Cardiovascular Clinical College, and the department of rehabilitation and sports medicine at Tianjin Medical University in Tianjin, China, and colleagues wrote. “The objective of this study [was] to examine the risk factors for developing diabetes on its 3-year outcome in an elderly Chinese suburban population with IFG.”

Researchers assessed data from 328 Chinese adults aged at least 60 years with IFG (fasting plasma glucose between 5.6 mmol/L and 6.9 mmol/L) but no previous diabetes diagnosis and who had joined a national free examination program from May 2013 (mean age, 68 years; 48.2% men). Researchers performed comprehensive geriatric assessments, which included anthropomorphic assessments (height, weight and BMI), performance-based assessments (consisting of grip strength, a Timed Up and Go test, and a 4-mile walk test) and collected biomarker data (FPG, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, total cholesterol and triglycerides). Questionnaire interviews were also conducted to obtain sociodemographic variables, behavioral characteristics and medical conditions.

At a 3-year follow-up, researchers examined risk factors of incident diabetes using multiple logistic regression models and then evaluated the final predictive values for diabetes using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

Researchers found that 17.1% of participants with IFG at baseline had developed diabetes.

After multivariate adjustments, it was determined that the incidence of diabetes increased with higher FPG (OR = 9.3; 95% CI, 2.84-30.48) and decreased with lower grip strength (OR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.82-0.94).

The combination of higher FPG and lower grip strength was associated with a greater incidence of diabetes vs. only higher FPG or only lower grip strength (P < .05).

“This study has shown that not only glucose levels, but also physical performance may be useful markers of risk in community elderly with IFG,” the researchers wrote. “This result indicates a better understanding of factors potentially responsible for the increase in type 2 diabetes mellitus can assist in making informed decisions about diabetes preventing programs and policies.” – by Melissa J. Webb

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.