Aims: To investigate alterations in walking strategy and dynamic sway (unsteadiness) in people with impaired glucose tolerance and people with Type 2 diabetes in relation to severity of neuropathy and vitamin D levels. Methods: A total of 20 people with Type 2 diabetes, 20 people with impaired glucose tolerance and 20 people without either Type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (control group) underwent gait analysis using a motion analysis system and force platforms, and detailed assessment of neuropathy and serum 25 hydroxy-vitamin D levels. Results: Ankle strength (P = 0.01) and power (P = 0.003) during walking and walking speed (P = 0.008) were preserved in participants with impaired glucose tolerance but significantly lower in participants with Type 2 diabetes compared with control participants; however, step width (P = 0.005) and dynamic medio-lateral sway (P = 0.007) were significantly higher and posterior maximal movement (P = 0.000) was lower in participants with impaired glucose tolerance, but preserved in those with Type 2 diabetes compared with the control group. Dynamic medio-lateral sway correlated with corneal nerve fibre length (P = 0.001) and corneal nerve branch density (P = 0.001), but not with vibration perception threshold (P = 0.19). Serum 25 hydroxy-vitamin D levels did not differ significantly among the groups (P = 0.10) and did not correlate with any walking variables or measures of dynamic sway. Conclusions: Early abnormalities in walking strategy and dynamic sway were evident in participants with impaired glucose tolerance, whilst there was a reduction in ankle strength, power and walking speed in participants with Type 2 diabetes. Unsteadiness correlated with small-, but not large-fibre neuropathy and there was no relationship between vitamin D levels and walking variables.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism