Aqeel Alenazi1,2, Mohammed Alshehri1,3, Shaima Alothman1, Bader Alqahtani2, Saad Bindawas4, Patricia Kluding1

1Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas; 2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physical Therapy, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Rehabilitation Science, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia; 4Department of Rehabilitation Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

PURPOSE: Walking speed is considered as sixth vital sign and an important predictor for disability and mortality in older people. Previous research has shown that a decline in walking speed is associated with diabetes (DM) or osteoarthritis (OA) as well as poor health outcomes in older adults. Having < 0.1 m/s walking speed may interfere with daily living and basic mobility needs such as crossing a street. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the impact of diabetes on walking speed in people with or at high risk of knee OA. METHODS: A cross sectional analyses from Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) at 96 months follow up was performed with data from 2122 individuals aged between 53-87 years with knee pain over 30 days. Participants were grouped into knee OA+diabetes or knee OA only. Walking speed was measured using averaged speed of two 20 meter walk test. Diabetes and knee pain over 30 days were assessed using self-reported questionnaire. Walking speed was categorized into slow walking speed. RESULTS: A total of 1848 participants had knee OA only and 274 had knee OA+diabetes. A total of 1877 participants had walking speed ≥1.0 m/s, and 11.1% of these had diabetes. A total of 245 individuals had walking speed < 1.0 m/s, and 26.5% of these had diabetes. Logistic regression analyses showed that diabetes was significantly associated with slow walking speed (p=0.001) after controlling for age, sex, race, body mass index and depression symptoms. CONCLUSION: This study found that diabetes was associated with slow walking speed in people with or at high risk of knee OA. People with diabetes and knee OA are about 2 times more likely to have slow walking speed.

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