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Approved research

Sarcopenia in chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus: a UK Biobank study

Principal Investigator: Dr Thomas Wilkinson
Approved Research ID: 52553
Approval date: October 31st 2019

Lay summary

People with kidney problems and those with diabetes (high levels of sugar in the blood) become weak and lose muscle. This is called 'sarcopenia'. Sarcopenia can happen as we get older but in those with kidney problems or diabetes, sarcopenia may happen at an earlier age. This may be because of lots of different reasons such as not getting enough exercise or not eating enough protein (important in building and fixing muscle). It may also be caused by problems caused by having a kidney condition or diabetes. Sarcopenia makes it harder to do everyday tasks such as walking, lifting objects, or standing up. It can also people feel weak and tired. In older people, sarcopenia has been linked to a higher risk of dying. A lot of the research into sarcopenia has been done in America or Europe. There is not much research into sarcopenia in the UK, and even less in people with kidney conditions or diabetes. In this study we will: 1) Find out how many people with kidney conditions, diabetes, or both conditions together have sarcopenia. We will compare how many people have sarcopenia in these people with kidney problems and diabetes with people without serious medical conditions. 2) Look at what factors may cause sarcopenia in these groups. These factors will include levels of exercise, diet, inflammation (the body's response to injury), and hormones that help regulate muscle. 3) Look at if people with kidney problems or diabetes and sarcopenia are more likely to die than those without sarcopenia. 4) In people with kidney problems we will also look at whether having sarcopenia causes the kidneys to stop working quicker. We expect the project to take 12 months. As little is known about sarcopenia in people with kidney problems and diabetes, this project will help find out how many people are living with sarcopenia in the UK. We will also be able to find out if having sarcopenia means these people are more likely to die. If we find that sarcopenia is a problem then this means that better steps are needed to measure sarcopenia in these groups. This project will look at different factors that are linked to sarcopenia. This means we could recognise people who have a higher chance of getting sarcopenia. It also means we could try and change these different factors to help stop sarcopenia from happening or getting worse.