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Sarcopenia is associated with loss of muscle mass and muscle strength, causing poor physical performance and falls; however, research about this is still limited in Thailand, particularly in older people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study investigated the prevalence of sarcopenia, and its components (muscle mass, handgrip strength and gait speed) associations with personal factors (age, gender, co-morbidity and time since diagnosis), and health and behavioral factors (hemoglobin A1c, body mass index, waist circumference, depression and physical activity) in older people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Data were collected from 396 older people residing in Bangkok and surrounding areas using structured interviews, nutrition and health assessment, body composition analyzer, handgrip dynamometer and a 6-meter walk test. Descriptive statistics and univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to analyze the data.
Results revealed that the prevalence of sarcopenia was 1.3%. The univariate logistic regression indicated that age and gender were significantly associated with handgrip strength and gait speed. Body mass index and waist circumference were significantly associated with only handgrip strength; while depression and physical activity were significantly associated with handgrip strength and gait speed. The multivariate logistic regression showed that age, gender and waist circumference could together predict handgrip strength. Moreover, age, gender, depression and physical activity together predicted gait speed. Nurses need to promote physical activity, monitor depression and provide advice to older people to help control their body weight and visceral fat.
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