(HealthDay News) — Hyperglycemia is associated with reduced muscle strength over time, according to a study published online November 12 in Diabetes Care.

Rita Rastogi Kalyani, MD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the correlation of hyperglycemia with declines in muscle function in 984 participants, aged 25–96 years, in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Participants had hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), knee extensor strength, and lean body mass measured at baseline and underwent repeated measurements up to 7.5 years later.

The researchers found that across HbA1c quartiles, muscle strength and quality were significantly lower (both P<0.001), without differences in muscle mass at baseline. After adjustment for age, race, sex, weight, and height, strength was significantly lower comparing the highest vs. the lowest HbA1c quartiles (P value trend = 0.02); the correlation persisted after adjustment for physical activity (P value trend = 0.045), but was of borderline significance after adjustment for peripheral neuropathy (P value trend = 0.05). Muscle quality was significantly lower in the highest vs. the lowest HbA1c quartile after adjustment for demographics (P value trend = 0.02); after adjustment for weight and height the differences were attenuated (P value trend = 0.07). Similar muscle mass measures were seen across HbA1c quartiles.

“Future studies should explore if better glycemic control can preserve muscle function in diabetes,” the authors write.

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