Associations of changes in fat free mass with risk for type 2 diabetes: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2021 Jan:171:108557. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108557. Epub 2020 Nov 23.


Aims: To determine whether loss of muscle mass (approximated using fat free mass [FFM]) is associated with risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Hispanic/Latino adults in the United States.

Methods: Participants were Hispanic/Latino adults (18-74-year-olds) who completed Visit 2 of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL; multi-site, prospective cohort study; 6.1-year follow-up) and did not have T2DM at baseline (n = 6264). At baseline and Visit 2, FFM was measured using bioelectrical impedance analysis and fasting glucose, HbA1c, and fasting insulin were measured by examiners. Diabetes was defined according to American Diabetes Association criteria. Survey-weighted Poisson regression models examined the association of percent change in relative FFM (%ΔFFM) with incident prediabetes and T2DM. Survey-weighted multivariable regression models examined associations of %ΔFFM with changes in glucose and insulin measures.

Results: Relative FFM declined by 2.1% between visits. %ΔFFM was inversely associated with incident prediabetes (p-for-trend = 0.001) and with changes in glucose and insulin measures (p-for-trend <0.0001). Findings were null, except for HOMA-IR, after adjustment for changes in adiposity measures. Associations were generally stronger for individuals with baseline overweight/obesity.

Conclusions: Reducing loss of FFM during adulthood may reduce prediabetes risk (primarily insulin resistance), particularly among individuals with overweight/obesity.

Keywords: Adiposity; Hispanic; Prospective studies; Sarcopenia; Type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Public Health / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States
  • Young Adult