Gait pattern alterations in older adults associated with type 2 diabetes in the absence of peripheral neuropathy-Results from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

Seung uk Ko, Sari Stenholm, Chee W. Chia, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Diabetes may impact gait mechanics before onset of frank neuropathies and other associated threats to mobility. This study aims to characterize gait pattern alterations of type 2 diabetic adults without peripheral neuropathy during walking at maximum speed (fast-walking) as well as at self-selected speed (usual-walking). One-hundred and eighty-six participants aged 60-87 from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) able to walk unassisted and without peripheral neuropathy were classified as non-diabetic (N=160) or having type 2 diabetes (N=26). Gait parameters from the fast-walking and usual-walking tests were compared between participants with and without type 2 diabetes. Participants with diabetes had a shorter stride length for fast-walking (p=0.033) and a longer percentage of the gait cycle with the knee in 1st flexion for both fast- and usual-walking (p=0.033, and 0.040, respectively) than non-diabetic participants. Participants with diabetes exhibited a smaller hip range of motion in the sagittal plane during usual-walking compared to non-diabetics (p=0.049). During fast-walking, participants with diabetes used lower ankle generative mechanical work expenditure (MWE) and higher knee absorptive MWE compared to non-diabetic persons (p=0.021, and 0.018, respectively). These findings suggest that individuals with type 2 diabetes without overt peripheral neuropathy exhibit altered and less efficient gait patterns than non-diabetic persons. These alterations are more apparent during walking at a maximum speed indicating that maximum gait testing may be useful for identifying early threats to mobility limitations in older adults with type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-552
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Gait
  • Mechanical work expenditure
  • Mobility limitation
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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