Purpose: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus may present weakness of the inspiratory muscles. We tested the hypothesis that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) could improve inspiratory muscle strength, pulmonary function, functional capacity, and autonomic modulation in patients with type 2 diabetes and weakness of the inspiratory muscles.
Methods: Maximal inspiratory muscle pressure (PImax) was evaluated in a sample of 148 patients with type 2 diabetes. Of these, 25 patients with PImax <70% of predicted were randomized to an 8-wk program of IMT (n = 12) or placebo-IMT (n = 13). PImax, inspiratory muscle endurance time, pulmonary function, peak oxygen uptake, and HR variability were evaluated before and after intervention.
Results: The prevalence of inspiratory muscle weakness was 29%. IMT significantly increased the PImax (118%) and the inspiratory muscle endurance time (495%), with no changes in pulmonary function, functional capacity, or autonomic modulation. There were no significant changes with placebo-IMT.
Conclusions: Patients with type 2 diabetes may frequently present inspiratory muscle weakness. In these patients, IMT improves inspiratory muscle function with no consequences in functional capacity or autonomic modulation.