Aging, physical activity, and diabetic complications related to loss of muscle strength in patients with type 2 diabetes

Phys Ther Res. 2018 Nov 30;21(2):33-38. doi: 10.1298/ptr.R0002. eCollection 2018.


Patients with type 2 diabetes may have motor dysfunctions such as loss of muscle strength. Compared with non-diabetic subjects, patients with diabetes show decreased lower extremity muscle strength. The aim of this review was to describe the influence of factors associated with loss of muscle strength in patients with type 2 diabetes. Aging promotes an accelerated loss of muscle strength in patients with diabetes. Physical inactivity may cause a decline in muscle strength in patients with diabetes. Gradual loss of muscle strength is related to the presence and severity of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic nephropathy may be a factor contributing to loss of muscle strength, because decrease in skeletal muscle mass is a hallmark of end-stage renal disease. Resistance exercise is an essential component of diabetes treatment regimens and also plays a role in the prevention and management of sarcopenia. Intensive physical therapy intervention should be provided to patients with diabetes having decreased muscle strength.

Keywords: aging; diabetic complications; muscle strength; physical activity; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review