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J Diabetes Complications. 2017 Sep;31(9):1465-1473. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.05.003. Epub 2017 May 12.

Frailty and sarcopenia - newly emerging and high impact complications of diabetes.

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University of Aston and Foundation for Diabetes Research in Older People, Diabetes Frail Ltd, Droitwich Spa, WR9 0QH, UK. Electronic address:
Department of Elderly Medicine, Rotherham General Hospital, Moorgate Road, Rotherham, UK.
Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Department of Geriatrics and School of Health Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Spain.


Diabetes increases the risk of physical dysfunction and disability. Diabetes-related complications and coexisting morbidities partially explain the deterioration in physical function. The decline in muscle mass, strength and function associated with diabetes leads to sarcopenia, frailty and eventually disability. Frailty acts as a mediator in the pathogenesis of disability in older people with diabetes and its measurement in routine daily practice is recommended. Frailty is a dynamic process which progresses from a robust condition to a pre-frail stage then frailty and eventually disability. Therefore, a multimodal intervention which includes adequate nutrition, exercise training, good glycaemic control and the use of appropriate hypoglycemic medications may help delay or prevent the progression to disability.


Diabetes mellitus; Disability; Frailty; Older people; Sarcopenia

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