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Association between sarcopenia and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Key summary points

AbstractSection Aim

To summarize the prevalence of diabetes in people with sarcopenia (and vice versa) through a meta-analytic approach of available observational studies.

AbstractSection Findings

In this work, we have presented the findings of the first full methodological systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies exploring the relationship between diabetes and sarcopenia. Our findings overall emphasize the reciprocal relationship between diabetes and sarcopenia in terms of risk of occurrence, that is sarcopenia increases the risk of diabetes being present and vice versa.

AbstractSection Message

This study provides support for further research into the prognosis of people with both diabetes and sarcopenia and the value of interventional strategies in sarcopenia to minimize adverse outcomes such as premature death, hospitalization, and disability.

Abstract

Purpose

Sarcopenia and diabetes are two common conditions in older people. Some recent literature has proposed that these two conditions can be associated. However, to date, no attempt has been made to collate this literature. Therefore, we aimed to summarize the prevalence of sarcopenia in diabetes (and vice versa) and the prevalence of sarcopenia in people with diabetes complications, through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods

Two authors searched major electronic databases from inception until March 2019 for case control/cross-sectional/longitudinal studies investigating sarcopenia and diabetes. The strength of the reciprocal associations between sarcopenia and diabetes was assessed through odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for potential confounders, where possible.

Results

From 953 potential eligible articles, 20 were included in the systematic review, with 17 providing data for meta-analysis. Overall, 54,676 participants were included (mean age = 65.4 years). Diabetic participants had an increased prevalence of sarcopenia compared to controls (n = 10; OR = 1.635; 95% CI 1.204–2.220; p = 0.002; I2 = 67%), whilst, after adjusting for potential confounders, sarcopenia was associated with an increased odds of having diabetes (OR = 2.067; 95% CI 1.396–3.624; p < 0.0001; I2 = 0%). In 1868 diabetic participants with a complication, there was an increased prevalence of sarcopenia (OR = 2.446; 95% CI 1.839–3.254; p < 0.0001; I2 = 0%), as compared with those with no complication. Very limited data existed regarding studies with a longitudinal design.

Conclusions

Our study suggests a bidirectional association between diabetes and sarcopenia, particularly when diabetic complications are present.

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Correspondence to Nicola Veronese.

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Veronese, N., Pizzol, D., Demurtas, J. et al. Association between sarcopenia and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Eur Geriatr Med 10, 685–696 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41999-019-00216-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41999-019-00216-x

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Sarcopenia
  • Physical performance
  • Meta-analysis