Obesity is linked to the development of insulin resistance, but older adults with a loss of lower-limb muscle mass are at risk even if they are not obese, according to a longitudinal study in Japan.
Led by Toshiaki Seko, PhD, of Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, researchers studied 194 nondiabetic individuals age 65 and older who were part of a prospective community cohort study. The researchers measured muscle mass, muscle strength, grip strength, isometric knee extension torque, and walking speed in individuals who had a homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA) of 1.73 or more.
Individuals with loss of lower-limb muscle mass and appendicular muscle mass were, respectively, 0.88 and 0.89 times more likely to develop insulin resistance regardless of obesity. By contrast, muscle strength and walking speed were not risk factors for the development of insulin resistance.
“The findings suggest that loss of skeletal muscle mass, rather than decrease in muscle strength and muscle function, predisposes older adults to subsequent reduction of insulin sensitivity,” the researchers said.
Source: Seko T, et al. Preserved Lower-Limb Muscle Mass Prevents Insulin Resistance Development in Nondiabetic Older Adults [published online: December 30, 2022]. J Am Med Dir Assoc. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2022.12.002.
Jeffrey S. Eisenberg, a freelance writer in the Philadelphia area, compiled this listing.