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28-09-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Insulin sensitizers may prevent muscle loss in IFG and diabetes


Full abstract

MedWire News: Skeletal muscle loss is accelerated in men with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and diabetes, say US researchers.

However, such loss is markedly attenuated with the use of insulin sensitizers, reports the team.

The authors say the findings support their previous research showing that older nondiabetic men with insulin resistance have greater muscle mass loss than insulin-sensitive men, suggesting that insulin resistance may play a role in the development of sarcopenia.

As reported in the journal Diabetes Care, Christine Lee (Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, USA) and colleagues examined data from 3752 ambulatory men aged 65 years or older who participated in The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) study. MrOS was performed at six clinical sites in the USA with the primary aim of studying fracture determinants in older men.

The team categorized the men based on their glycemic status at baseline into the four groups normoglycemia, IFG, undiagnosed and untreated diabetes, and treated diabetes, and assessed their use of insulin sensitizer medication.

The change in total lean and appendicular lean mass was derived from dual X-ray absorptiometry scans taken at baseline and 3.5 years later.

The researchers found that individuals with IFG had a greater percentage loss in total and appendicular lean mass than normoglycemic men (2.1% vs 1.7% and 3.4% vs 2.9%, respectively).

Individuals with untreated diabetes also had a greater percentage loss (2.8%and 4.5%) as did those with diabetes untreated with insulin sensitizers (3.2% and 4.8%).

In contrast, the percentage of total and appendicular lean mass loss in men with diabetes treated with insulin sensitizers was significantly lower (1.4% and 2.2% respectively) than that of normoglycemic men and diabetic men who were not treated with insulin sensitizers or any diabetes therapies.

"These data show that conditions with underlying insulin resistance are associated with greater muscle loss and suggest that such loss may be prevented with pharmacological treatment of insulin resistance," write Lee and team.

"Our findings raise the need for randomized clinical trials of insulin sensitizers to understand their potential effects on muscle loss and possible preventative or therapeutic applications in sarcopenia," they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sally Robertson

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