• elderly diabetes;
  • sarcopenia;
  • type 2 diabetes


Our aim was to clarify the association between type 2 diabetes and the risk of low muscle mass in older adults.


In the present study, 414 adults aged 65 years or older (144 patients with type 2 diabetes and 270 control participants) were included. Body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Low muscle mass was defined as the appendicular skeletal muscle mass/height2 (ASM/Ht2) or appendicular skeletal muscle mass/weight (ASM/Wt) of <2 SD below the sex-specific normal mean of the young reference group, or <lower 20th percentile of total body skeletal muscle mass/weight (TSM/Wt) from control participants.


Older men with type 2 diabetes showed significantly lower appendicular skeletal muscle mass than those without diabetes (19.5 ± 3.5 kg vs 21.0 ± 2.8 kg, P < 0.001). The prevalence of low muscle mass was consistently higher in older men with diabetes than those without diabetes defined by ASM/Ht2 (57.6% vs 41.5%, P = 0.040), ASM/Wt (23.7% vs 12.3%, P = 0.046) and TSM/Wt (49.2% vs 20.0%, P < 0.001). In older women with diabetes, the prevalence of low muscle mass was higher than those without diabetes by ASM/Wt (25.9% vs 15.0%, P = 0.044) and TSM/Wt (32.9% vs 20.0%, P = 0.030), but not by ASM/Ht2 (7.1% vs 8.6%, P = 0.685). The risk of low muscle mass was approximately two- to fourfold higher in older adults with type 2 diabetes, even after adjusting for age, body mass index, current smoking and other risk factors.


In Korean older adults, type 2 diabetes is associated with low muscle mass. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2014; 14 (Suppl. 1): 115–121.