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Early View

Peripheral neuropathy reduces muscle strength in men with diabetes

Care of Older People – October 2019 digest

A study of the possible association between diabetic peripheral neuropathy and muscle strength. 

Oh TJ, Kang S, Lee J-E et al (2019) Association between deterioration in muscle strength and peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes. J Diabetes Complications 33: 598–601

  • Older age and greater duration of diabetes increase the risk of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), which contributes to loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, and therefore frailty. 
  • A screening questionnaire and physical examination were used to assess 230 patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 56.7 years) for the presence and severity of DPN. Handgrip strength, which can be used to assess muscle strength and performance, was used to investigate whether there was an association between DPN and muscle strength in participants. 
  • The prevalence of DPN was higher in women than in men (34.7% versus 26.4%).
  • The presence of DPN was associated with significantly lower handgrip strength in men but did not affect handgrip strength in women. 
  • There was a negative association between Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument Questionnaire and Physical Examination scores and handgrip strength in men only. 
  • Poor handgrip strength was significantly associated with abnormal 10-gram monofilament test score in men but not in women.
  • The researchers conclude that muscle function assessment in men with DPN may identify individuals at high risk for sarcopenia and frailty and enable clinicians to prevent functional decline.

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