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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 872726, 9 pages
Research Article

The Relationship between Intramuscular Adipose Tissue, Functional Mobility, and Strength in Postmenopausal Women with and without Type 2 Diabetes

1Geriatric Education and Research in Aging Sciences (GERAS) Centre, St. Peter’s Hospital, 88 Maplewood Avenue, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8M 1W9
2Department of Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
3Charlton Medical Centre, 25 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 1Y2
4Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
5Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
6Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1

Received 12 August 2014; Revised 2 January 2015; Accepted 3 January 2015

Academic Editor: Simone Reppermund

Copyright © 2015 Janet M. Pritchard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To determine (1) whether intramuscular adipose tissue (IntraMAT) differs between women with and without type 2 diabetes and (2) the association between IntraMAT and mobility and strength. Methods. 59 women ≥ 65 years with and without type 2 diabetes were included. A 1-Tesla MRI was used to acquire images of the leg. Timed-up-and-go (TUG) and grip strength were measured. Regression was used to determine associations between the following: (1) type 2 diabetes and IntraMAT (covariates: age, ethnicity, BMI, waist : hip ratio, and energy expenditure), (2) IntraMAT and TUG (covariates: diabetes, age, BMI, and energy expenditure), and (3) IntraMAT and grip strength (covariates: diabetes, age, height, and lean mass). Results. Women with diabetes had more IntraMAT. After adjustment, IntraMAT was similar between groups (diabetes mean [SD] = 13.2 [1.4]%, controls 11.8 [1.3]%, ). IntraMAT was related to TUG and grip strength, but the relationships became nonsignificant after adjustment for covariates (difference/percent IntraMAT [95% CI]: TUG = 0.041 seconds [−0.079–0.161], , grip strength = −0.144 kg [−0.335–0.066], ). Conclusions. IntraMAT alone may not be a clinically important predictor of functional mobility and strength; however, whether losses in functional mobility and strength are promoted by IntraMAT accumulation should be explored.