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BMC Geriatr ; 22(1): 446, 2022 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902357


BACKGROUND: Muscle health decline with age, but its deterioration in older persons with type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) over time is not well-established. This study aimed to determine the change in muscle mass, handgrip strength and gait speed over time among community-dwelling ambulatory older multi-ethnic Asian patients with T2DM and their associated factors. METHODS: Among 387 eligible patients aged 60-89 years who were recruited at baseline, 348 (89.9%) were reviewed at a public primary care clinic in Singapore in the subsequent 9 to 34 months. The change in their clinical and functional status, levels of physical activity and muscle status (mass, grip strength and gait speed based on the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia criteria) were recorded and compared. Their physical activity levels were assessed using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Their quality of life was evaluated based on the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) domains. Linear regression analysis was used to identify the factors associated with muscle health change. RESULTS: The study population comprised men (52.9%), Chinese (69.3%), mean age of 68.4 ± SD5.6 years and had at least secondary education (76.4%). Their mean muscle mass significantly decreased by 0.03 ± SD0.06 kg/m2/month, mean handgrip strength by 0.06 ± SD0.26 kg/month and negligible change in gait speed of 0.002 ± SD0.01 m/sec/month. Their mean weight significantly decreased by 0.5 ± SD3.9 kg, waist and hip circumferences by 2.5 ± SD6cm and 3.2 ± SD5.1 cm respectively, with no change in BMI. Linear regression shows significant associations between muscle mass change and education level (ß = 0.36,p = 0.012, 95% CI = 0.08-0.64), BMI (ß = 0.11,p = < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.05-0.17), change in medication class (ß = 0.39,p = < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.06-0.71) and review interval (ß = - 0.003, p < 0.001, 95% CI = -0.004--0.002). Gait speed change was associated with singlehood (ß = - 0.13,p = 0.029, 95% CI = -0.25--0.01) and WHOQOL physical health (ß = 0.01,p = 0.024, 95% CI = 0.00-0.02) domain. No factor was associated with handgrip strength change. CONCLUSIONS: The study population with T2DM showed significant decline in their mean weight, waist and hip circumferences, mean muscle mass and mean grip strength but gait speed was unaffected. Muscle mass change was associated with education level, BMI and length of review interval. Handgrip strength change was not significantly correlated with any factor. Gait speed change was associated with singlehood and physical health.

Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Sarcopenia , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asian People , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diagnosis , Hand Strength/physiology , Humans , Independent Living , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Muscle Strength , Muscles , Quality of Life , Sarcopenia/epidemiology , Walking Speed
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1196, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280583


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to the implementation of various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) as the Singapore government escalated containment efforts from DORSCON Orange to Circuit Breaker. NPI include mandatory mask wearing, hand hygiene, social distancing, and closure of schools and workplaces. Considering the similar mode of transmission of COVID-19 and other pathogens related to acute respiratory infections (ARI), the effects of NPI could possibly lead to decreased ARI attendances in the community. This study aims to determine the year-on-year and weekly changes of ARI attendances across a cluster of polyclinics following the implementation of NPI. METHODS: The effect of the nation-wide measures on the health-seeking behaviour of the study population was examined over three periods: (1) 9 weeks prior to the start of Circuit Breaker (DORSCON Orange period), (2) 8 weeks during the Circuit Breaker, and (3) 9 weeks after easing of Circuit Breaker. Data on ARI attendances for the corresponding periods in 2019 were also extracted for comparison and to assess the seasonal variations of ARI. The average weekly workday ARI attendances were compared with those of the preceding week using Wilcoxon signed rank test. RESULTS: ARI attendances dropped steadily throughout the study period and were 50-80% lower than in 2019 since Circuit Breaker. They remained low even after Circuit Breaker ended. Positivity rate for influenza-like illnesses samples in the community was 0.0% from the last week of Circuit Breaker to end of study period. CONCLUSIONS: NPI and public education measures during DORSCON Orange and Circuit Breaker periods appear to be associated with the health-seeking behaviour of the public. Changing levels of perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits and barriers, and widespread visual cues based on the Health Belief Model may account for this change. Understanding the impact of NPI and shifts in the public's health-seeking behaviour will be relevant and helpful in the planning of future pandemic responses.

COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology