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Type 2 diabetes does not account for ethnic differences in exercise capacity or skeletal muscle function in older adults

Jones, S; Tillin, T; Williams, S; Eastwood, S; Hughes, A; Chaturvedi, N; (2020) Type 2 diabetes does not account for ethnic differences in exercise capacity or skeletal muscle function in older adults. Diabetologia , 63 (3) pp. 624-635. 10.1007/s00125-019-05055-w. Green open access

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Abstract

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The aim of this study was to compare exercise capacity, strength and skeletal muscle perfusion during exercise, and oxidative capacity between South Asians, African Caribbeans and Europeans, and determine what effect ethnic differences in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has on these functional outcomes. METHODS: In total, 708 participants (aged [mean±SD] 73 ± 7 years, 56% male) were recruited from the Southall and Brent Revisited (SABRE) study, a UK population-based cohort comprised of Europeans (n = 311) and South Asian (n = 232) and African Caribbean (n = 165) migrants. Measurements of exercise capacity using a 6 min stepper test (6MST), including measurement of oxygen consumption (V˙O_{2}) and grip strength, were performed. Skeletal muscle was assessed using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS); measures included changes in tissue saturation index (∆TSI%) with exercise and oxidative capacity (muscle oxygen consumption recovery, represented by a time constant [τ]). Analysis was by multiple linear regression. RESULTS: When adjusted for age and sex, in South Asians and African Caribbeans, exercise capacity was reduced compared with Europeans (V˙O_{2} [ml min^{-1}kg^{-1}]: β = −1.2 [95% CI –1.9, −0.4], p = 0.002, and β −1.7 [95% CI –2.5, −0.8], p < 0.001, respectively). South Asians had lower and African Caribbeans had higher strength compared with Europeans (strength [kPa]: β = −9 [95% CI –12, −6), p < 0.001, and β = 6 [95% CI 3, 9], p < 0.001, respectively). South Asians had greater decreases in TSI% and longer τ compared with Europeans (∆TSI% [%]: β = −0.9 [95% CI –1.7, −0.1), p = 0.024; τ [s]: β = 11 [95% CI 3, 18], p = 0.006). Ethnic differences in V˙O_{2} and grip strength remained despite adjustment for type 2 diabetes or HbA_{1c} (and fat-free mass for grip strength). However, the differences between Europeans and South Asians were no longer statistically significant after adjustment for other possible mediators or confounders (including physical activity, waist-to-hip ratio, cardiovascular disease or hypertension, smoking, haemoglobin levels or β-blocker use). The difference in ∆TSI% between Europeans and South Asians was marginally attenuated after adjustment for type 2 diabetes or HbA_{1c} and was also no longer statistically significant after adjusting for other confounders; however, τ remained significantly longer in South Asians vs Europeans despite adjustment for all confounders. CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: Reduced exercise capacity in South Asians and African Caribbeans is unexplained by higher rates of type 2 diabetes. Poorer exercise tolerance in these populations, and impaired muscle function and perfusion in South Asians, may contribute to the higher morbidity burden of UK ethnic minority groups in older age.

Type: Article
Title: Type 2 diabetes does not account for ethnic differences in exercise capacity or skeletal muscle function in older adults
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00125-019-05055-w
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-05055-w
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 Springer Nature. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Ethnicity, Exercise capacity, Skeletal muscle, Type 2 diabetes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10084852
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