Glycemic Control in Diabetics May Help Prevent Heart Disease, Sarcopenia

April 22, 2021

The primary goal in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is to prevent diabetic complications and ensure a lifespan similar to that of those without diabetes. However, a longer life doesn’t necessarily translate to longer quality of life if measures aren’t adopted to address geriatric syndromes. A new study in the April issue of JAMDA offers new insight into the importance of glycemic control in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and sarcopenia in older adults.

In Glycemic Control and Insulin Improve Muscle Mass and Gait Speed in Type 2 Diabetes: The MUSCLES-DM Study, 588 (aged 40 and older) Japanese patients living with T2DM in an ongoing multicenter study completed one-year follow-up measurements for sarcopenia and clinical data. During this period, the frequency of sarcopenia marginally increased; and mean skeletal muscle mass index, handgrip strength, and gait speed didn’t show any changes. However, when focusing just on those patients with decreased glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), there was a significant increase in skeletal muscle mass, with similar results for gait speed.

The authors concluded, “Despite the limitations, our findings could provide suggestions for establishing new strategies for the management of older patients with type 2 diabetes, especially for those who have a risk for sarcopenia.” They noted that the level of physical activity can affect changes in muscle mass and strength, and that a meta-analysis revealed that low-intensity exercise was enough to induce substantial gains in muscle strength in some older adults. They suggested that collecting data on the intensity of physical training should be considered in further studies.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Geriatric and General Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan; Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Kindai University  of Medicine, Osaka-sayama, Japan; Department of Diabetes and Molecular Genetics, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Toon Japan; Katsuya Clinic, Amagasaki, Japan; Department of Clinical Gene Therapy, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan; Fukuda Clinic, Osaka, Japan; and Center for Genomic Medicine, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.

Click here for more information on the findings above and more details about the study. To contact the researchers or JAMDA editor for an interview, please email



JAMDA is the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. JAMDA publishes peer-reviewed articles including original studies, reviews, clinical experience articles, case reports, and more, on all topics more important to post-acute and long-term care medicine. Visit for more information.

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AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit for more information.