Diabetic polyneuropathy tied to worsening muscle strength in older diabetic patients
Diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN) weakens lower-extremity muscle strength in older type 2 diabetes patients over time, reports a new study.
The study included 51 DPN patients (mean age, 68.9±5.6 years) whose body weight-normalized knee extension force (KEF) was measured at baseline and after an average of 3.6±0.6 years of follow-up. Mobility was also measured using a 25-point locomotive function scale. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL), as assessed by the EuroQol, was set as an additional outcome measure. A parallel group of 54 non-DPN patients were included as comparators.
KEF at baseline was 81.7±30.1 Nm in patients with DPN and 92.5±39.6 Nm in those without. The resulting difference was not statistically significant.
By the follow-up session, the gap in measurement between the two groups had widened, such that those with DPN showed significantly lower KEF (75.4±30.6 vs 91.5±42.2 Nm; p<0.05). A similar pattern of temporal change was reported for relative KEF, which at follow-up had become significantly impaired in DPN patients (1.22±0.47 vs 1.52±0.57 Nm/kg; p<0.01).
This impairment may have contributed to worse HRQoL. DPN patients had significantly lower quality-adjusted life years (QALYs: 0.856±0.131 vs 0.920±0.105; p=0.007). Multiple regression analysis identified an interaction between QALYs and relative KEF at follow-up (p=0.005).
“Further studies are needed to clarify some of these issues and to make further contributions for preventing the need for long-term care and maintaining HRQoL in older patients with type 2 diabetes,” researcher said.