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Sarcopenia: a potential cause and consequence of type 2 diabetes in Australia’s ageing population?

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Obesity epidemics have developed concurrently with population ageing worldwide. More than 40% of adults who were aged 25–29 years in 2000 will be obese by the time they reach the age of 60–64 years.1 The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes has mirrored obesity epidemics. There are about one million people living with type 2 diabetes in Australia, and more than 90% of these individuals are aged 40 years or older.2 Worldwide, the highest age-specific prevalence of any diabetes (19%) is observed in those aged 60–79 years, and this age group will also have the greatest proportional increase in patients with any diabetes by 2035.3

A characteristic of ageing that has been under-investigated as a potential contributor to the risk of type 2 diabetes, and functional deficits common to this condition, is sarcopenia. We performed a non-systematic search of the MEDLINE and Embase databases using search terms including (but not limited to) “sarcopenia”, “muscle mass”, “physical performance”, “diabetes” and “insulin resistance”, with additional review of our personal reference libraries, to identify recent scientific literature investigating the effects of sarcopenia on the risk of type 2 diabetes, the progression of sarcopenia in older adults with existing type 2 diabetes, and potential…