Decreased Diastolic Blood Pressure and Average Grip Strength in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes Compared to Controls: An Analysis of Data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)

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      To determine if aging individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have differences in cardiovascular health, assessed by blood pressure, and skeletal muscle function, assessed by grip strength, compared to matched nondiabetic controls (CON).


      A retrospective cohort analysis using baseline and three-year follow-up data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses examined the association between sociodemographic, health, behavioural, and T1D-specific variables on blood pressure and grip strength in T1D and CON groups. Generalized estimating equations modeled the average population changes in blood pressure and grip strength from baseline to follow-up.


      The sample included 126 individuals (63 T1D and 63 CON). Systolic blood pressure was not significantly different between groups at baseline or follow-up (p>0.05). However, compared to CON, diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower at both time points in the T1D group (p<0.001). Grip strength was consistently lower among persons with T1D (p=0.03). In the multivariate regression model, body mass index, age, and sex were significantly associated with diastolic blood pressure and grip strength in both groups. In the T1D group, disease duration accounted for a large proportion of the variance in diastolic blood pressure and grip strength (17% and 9%, respectively). The rate of decline in diastolic blood pressure and grip strength did not differ between groups (p>0.05).


      Diastolic blood pressure and grip strength appear to be consistently lower and differentially regulated in individuals with T1D versus CON. Aging individuals with T1D may be at risk of premature morbidity and mortality.


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