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Open AccessArticle

Glucose Levels as a Mediator of the Detrimental Effect of Abdominal Obesity on Relative Handgrip Strength in Older Adults

Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Huelva, Avenida de las Fuerzas Armadas s/n 21007, 21004 Huelva, Spain
Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Seville, 41092 Seville, Spain
Hospital Universitario San Ignacio-Aging Institute, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá 110111, Colombia
Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Boyacá, Tunja 150003, Colombia
Navarrabiomed, Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra (CHN)-Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA), IdiSNA, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
CIBER of Frailty and Healthy Aging (CIBERFES), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
GICAEDS Group, Faculty of Physical Culture, Sport and Recreation, Universidad Santo Tomás, Bogotá 110311, Colombia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(8), 2323;
Received: 8 June 2020 / Revised: 10 July 2020 / Accepted: 20 July 2020 / Published: 22 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sarcopenia: Skeletal Muscle Health and Ageing)
Excess central adiposity accelerates the decline of muscle strength in older people. Additionally, hyperglycemia, independent of associated comorbidities, is related to the loss of muscle mass and strength, and contributes to functional impairment in older adults. We studied the mediation effect of glucose levels, in the relationship between abdominal obesity and relative handgrip strength (HGS). A total of 1571 participants (60.0% women, mean age 69.1 ± 7.0 years) from 86 municipalities were selected following a multistage area probability sampling design. Measurements included demographic and anthropometric/adiposity markers (weight, height, body mass index, and waist circumference). HGS was measured using a digital dynamometer for three sets and the mean value was recorded. The values were normalized to body weight (relative HGS). Fasting glucose was analyzed by enzymatic colorimetric methods. Mediation analyses were performed to identify associations between the independent variable (abdominal obesity) and outcomes (relative HGS), as well as to determine whether fasting glucose levels mediated the relationship between excess adiposity and relative HGS. A total of 1239 (78.8%) had abdominal obesity. Abdominal obesity had a negative effect on fasting glucose (β = 9.04, 95%CI = 5.87 to 12.21); while fasting glucose to relative HGS was inversely related (β = −0.003, 95%CI = −0.005 to −0.001), p < 0.001. The direct effect of abdominal obesity on relative HGS was statistically significant (β = −0.069, 95%CI = −0.082 to −0.057), p < 0.001. Lastly, fasting glucose levels mediates the detrimental effect of abdominal obesity on relative HGS (indirect effect β = −0.002, 95%CI = −0.004 to −0.001), p < 0.001. Our results suggest that the glucose level could worsen the association between abdominal obesity status and lower HGS. Thus, it is plausible to consider fasting glucose levels when assessing older adults with excess adiposity and/or suspected loss of muscle mass. View Full-Text
Keywords: fat mass; obesity; muscle strength; physical function; diabetes fat mass; obesity; muscle strength; physical function; diabetes
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Pérez-Sousa, M.Á.; del Pozo-Cruz, J.; Cano-Gutiérrez, C.A.; Ferrebuz, A.J.; Sandoval-Cuellar, C.; Izquierdo, M.; Hernández-Quiñonez, P.A.; Ramírez-Vélez, R. Glucose Levels as a Mediator of the Detrimental Effect of Abdominal Obesity on Relative Handgrip Strength in Older Adults. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2323.

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