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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2003 Aug;58(8):740-5.

Effects of long-term resistive training on mobility and strength in older adults with diabetes.

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Rehabilitation Research and Development Center, Veteran Affairs Medical Center-Decatur, and Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta 30303, USA.



Strength training has been shown to be beneficial in older adults. However, very little data exist on the effects of strength training in older diabetics.


31 community-dwelling older adults with diabetes (mean age = 66.1 years) were randomly assigned to either an exercise (EX) or control (CO) group. The EX group trained the plantar flexors, knee extensors, knee flexors, hip extensors, and hip flexors muscle groups at 50%, 60%, and 70% of 1-repetition maximum, 2.6 days a week, for 24 months. Mobility tests included the timed up and go, 50-foot walk, and walking up and down 8 stairs. Strength and mobility for both groups were evaluated at 6-month intervals.


There was a group and time effect as the EX group increased 31.4% (p <.001) in strength for all muscle groups after the first 6 months of training, and the strength gains were retained for the duration of the training intervention. There was also a group and time effect for mobility as performance increased 8.6% and 9.8% (p =.032 and p = 0.031) for the first 6 and 12 months, respectively, but decreased to 4.6% above baseline at the end of the intervention. There were essentially no changes from baseline strength or mobility values for the CO group.


In conclusion, these data suggest that a moderate-intensity resistive-training program can improve mobility and strength for the duration of a 24-month intervention in older adults with diabetes, thus potentially reducing the rate of mobility loss during aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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