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Table 1 Baseline characteristics of the 56 patients according to gender and folate

From: Serum folate predicts muscle strength: a pilot cross-sectional study of the association between serum vitamin levels and muscle strength and gait measures in patients >65 years old with diabetes mellitus in a primary care setting

  Women (n = 28) [n (%) or mean ± SD] Men (n = 28) [n (%) or mean ± SD] P value Folate deficiency (<13.5 nmol/l) (n = 11) [n (%) or mean ± SD] Folate normal (≥13.5 nmol/l) (n = 45) [n (%) or mean ± SD] P value
Vitamin B12 level (pmol/l) 205 ± 136 200 ± 103 ns 224 ± 142 197 ± 114 ns
Vitamin B12 deficiency (<150 pmol/l) 13 (46 %) 11 (39 %) ns 5 (45 %) 19 (42 %) ns
Folate level (nmol/l) 21.8 ± 10.8 21.1 ± 9.3 ns 10.8 ± 2.1 24.0 ± 9.5 <0.001
Folate deficiency (<13.5 nmol/l) 7 (25 %) 4 (14 %) ns 11 (100 %) 0 (0 %) <0.001
25-OH-vitamin D level (nmol/l) 63.6 ± 17.7 63.1 ± 20.5 ns 59.2 ± 25.5 64.5 ± 17.3 ns
25-OH-vitamin D deficiency (<49.9 nmol/l) 9 (32 %) 5 (18 %) ns 4 (36 %) 10 (22 %) ns
Homocysteine level (μmol/l) 16.8 ± 9.5 16.9 ± 6.4 ns 17.4 ± 6.9 16.8 ± 8.3 ns
Hyperhomocysteinaemia (≥15.0 μmol/l) 14 (50 %) 15 (54 %) ns 7 (64 %) 22 (49 %) ns
Ethnicity (n and % of respective column group)
 Chinese 24 (85 %) 19 (68 %) ns 8 (73 %) 35 (78 %) ns
 Malay 2 (7 %) 1 (4 %) ns 0 (0 %) 3 (7 %) ns
 Indian 1 (4 %) 4 (14 %) ns 3 (18 %) 3 (7 %) ns
 Eurasian and Others 1 (4 %) 4 (14 %) ns 1 (9 %) 4 (9 %) ns
Age (years)
 Overall mean age 72 ± 5 71 ± 4 ns 72 ± 5 71 ± 5 ns
  65–69 years old (n and % of respective column group) 10 (36 %) 13 (46 %) ns 4 (36 %) 19 (42 %) ns
  70–74 years old (n and % of respective column group) 11 (39 %) 9 (32 %) ns 5 (46 %) 15 (33 %) ns
  75–79 years old (n and % of respective column group) 4 (14 %) 5 (18 %) ns 1 (9 %) 8 (18 %) ns
  80–84 years old (n and % of respective column group) 3 (11 %) 1 (4 %) ns 1 (9 %) 3 (7 %) ns
Height (m) 1.52 ± 0.05 1.65 ± 0.07 <0.001 1.55 ± 0.11 1.59 ± 0.09 ns
Weight (kg) 55.6 ± 9.0 67.9 ± 10.2 <0.001 64.4 ± 14.4 61.1 ± 10.6 ns
BMI (kg/m2) 24.2 ± 4.0 24.9 ± 3.78 ns 26.6 ± 3.5 24.1 ± 3.8 ns
History of chronic disease
 Hypertension 24 (85 %) 21 (75 %) ns 10 (91 %) 35 (78 %) ns
 Hyperlipidaemia 26 (93 %) 27 (96 %) ns 11 (100 %) 42 (93 %) ns
 Ischaemic heart disease 5 (19 %) 7 (25 %) ns 1 (11 %) 11 (24 %) ns
 Stroke 3 (11 %) 0 (0 %) ns 1 (9 %) 2 (4 %) ns
 Cancer (exclusion criterion) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) ns 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) ns
 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) ns 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) ns
 Number of chronic medications (excluding supplements) 5.8 ± 1.6 6.0 ± 2.4 ns 6.8 ± 2.0 5.7 ± 2.0 ns
Vitamin–mineral supplementation
 Supplementation of any type 21 (75 %) 13 (46 %) <0.05 7 (64 %) 27 (60 %) ns
 Supplementation containing vitamin B12 4 (14 %) 3 (11 %) ns 4 (36 %) 3 (7 %) <0.05
 Supplementation containing folate 3 (11 %) 2 (7 %) ns 2 (18 %) 3 (7 %) ns
 Supplementation containing vitamin D 12 (43 %) 4 (14 %) <0.05 5 (45 %) 11 (24 %) ns
 Supplementation containing calcium 13 (46 %) 5 (18 %) <0.05 5 (45 %) 13 (29 %) ns
Taking proton-pump inhibitor 6 (21 %) 7 (25 %) ns 4 (36 %) 9 (20 %) ns
Taking Histamine H2 antagonist 0 (0 %) 3 (11 %) ns 1 (9 %) 2 (4 %) ns
Taking metformin 25 (89 %) 27 (96 %) ns 11 (100 %) 41 (91 %) ns
Metformin duration >1 year 24 (85 %) 25 (89 %) ns 11 (100 %) 38 (84 %) ns
Metformin 1-year cumulative dose (g/year) 543 ± 420 538 ± 311 ns 684 ± 250 505 ± 318 ns
Metformin latest daily dose (g/day) 1.49 ± 0.84 1.57 ± 0.87 ns 1.82 ± 0.73 1.46 ± 0.87 ns
Taking sulphonylureas 15 (54 %) 18 (64 %) ns 7 (64 %) 26 (58 %) ns
Taking dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors 3 (11 %) 4 (14 %) ns 2 (18 %) 5 (11 %) ns
Taking insulin 3 (11 %) 2 (7 %) ns 0 (0 %) 5 (11 %) ns
Smoking 1 (4 %) 4 (14 %) ns 0 (0 %) 5 (11 %) ns
Consumption of alcohol at least 1 unit per week 0 (0 %) 8 (29 %) <0.01 2 (18 %) 6 (13 %) ns
Self-reported sleep per day (h) 7.2 ± 1.6 6.8 ± 1.0 ns 6.7 ± 1.2 7.0 ± 1.4 ns
HbA1c (%) 7.3 ± 0.6 7.2 ± 0.7 ns 7.2 ± 0.9 7.3 ± 0.6 ns
aEstimated creatinine clearance (ml/min) (Cockcroft–Gault) 62.0 ± 19.8 68.0 ± 25.1 ns 70.0 ± 27.1 63.8 ± 21.5 ns
aLDL cholesterol level (mmol/l) 2.25 ± 0.61 2.18 ± 0.79 ns 2.59 ± 0.97 2.13 ± 0.60 ns
Total protein (g/l) [for patients 12–56 only; 22 male, 23 female] 72.3 ± 3.0 71.0 ± 3.8 ns 72.7 ± 3.4 71.5 ± 3.5 ns
Total albumin (g/l) [for patients 12–56 only; 22 male, 23 female] 45.0 ± 2.4 45.4 ± 2.0 ns 44.7 ± 1.3 45.2 ± 2.4 ns
Neurothesiometer VPT (V) (average of both feet) 13.21 ± 5.73 13.55 ± 6.12 ns See Table 3 See Table 3 -
Average lower-limb strength (kgf) (average of both limbs, three attempts per limb) 17.14 ± 4.82 26.79 ± 11.78 <0.001 See Table 3 See Table 3 -
Average lower limb strength/BMI (m2) 0.73 ± 0.24 1.09 ± 0.41 <0.001
Average grip strength (kgf) (average of both hands, three attempts per hand) 16.22 ± 3.29 25.54 ± 7.78 <0.001 See Table 3 See Table 3 -
Average grip strength/BMI (m2) 0.69 ± 0.19 1.04 ± 0.33 <0.001
6-m fast-gait speed (m/s) (average of two trials) 1.02 ± 0.27 1.17 ± 0.28 ns See Table 3 See Table 3 -
Timed up-and-go test (s) (average of two trials) 11.36 ± 5.72 9.53 ± 2.72 ns See Table 3 See Table 3 -
  1. Values are the mean ± SD or number (%) unless otherwise indicated
  2. Pearson chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test (where appropriate) were used for categorical variables and t-test was used for continuous variables
  3. For 25-OH-vitamin D, divide by 2.496 to convert from nmol/l to μg/l [68]. For vitamin B12, divide by 0.738 to convert from pmol/l to pg/ml [68]
  4. For folate, divide by 2.266 to convert from nmol/l to μg/l [68]. For homocysteine, divide by 7.397 to convert from μmol/l to ml/l [68]
  5. Abbreviations: BMI body mass index, LDL low-density lipoprotein, ns not significant, SD standard deviation, VPT vibration perception threshold
  6. aObtained from case records