We tested the hypothesis that sarcopenia, an age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, is associated with arterial stiffness in patients with diabetes (DM).Design and Method:
We studied 65 hypertensives in the Real BP study, an observational study of home BP telemonitoring system. As parameters of sarcopenia, we used locomotive syndrome scale, circumference of the wrist, lower leg, and thigh (10 cm above the patella), grip strength, and 6 minute-walk test. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was used as a parameter of arterial stiffness. In multiple regression analysis, we set baPWV as a dependent variable, and age, sex, BMI, office systolic BP, current smoking, dyslipidemia, and parameters of sarcopenia as independent variables.Results:
The mean age of the patients was 70.5 yrs; 40% had DM; 50.8% were female. In univariate analysis, circumference of the thigh was negatively associated with baPWV (r = −0.29, p < 0.05). When the parameters of sarcopenia between DM and non-DM patients were compared, no significant difference was seen between the groups. In DM patients, circumference of the thigh (r = −0.57, p < 0.01), circumference of the lower leg (r = −0.64, p < 0.001), and grip strength (r = −0.51, p < 0.01) were associated with baPWV, although none of the parameters of the sarcopenia was associated with baPWV in non-DM patients. In multiple regression analysis, circumference of the thigh (β=−1.27, p < 0.001), circumference of the lower leg (β=−0.78, p < 0.01), grip strength (β=−0.65, p < 0.05) were independently associated with baPWV in DM patients.Conclusions:
In patients with DM, the parameters of sarcopenia were independently associated with the measure of arterial stiffness. Sarcopenia may be a comprehensive marker of cardiovascular risk in elderly diabetic patients.