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Considering Type 1 Diabetes as a Form of Accelerated Muscle Aging

Monaco, Cynthia M. F.; Gingrich, Molly A.; Hawke, Thomas J.

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: April 2019 - Volume 47 - Issue 2 - p 98–107
doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000184

Recent evidence reveals impairments to skeletal muscle health in adolescent/young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Interestingly, the observed changes in T1D are not unlike aged muscle, particularly, the alterations to mitochondria. Thus, we put forth the novel hypothesis that T1D may be considered a condition of accelerated muscle aging and that, similar to aging, mitochondrial dysfunction is a primary contributor to this complication.

We review the similarities between aged and adolescent/young adult type 1 diabetes muscle and discuss mitochondrial dysfunction as an underlying mechanism.

Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Address for correspondence: Thomas J. Hawke, Ph.D., Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, HSC 4N65, 1200 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON, Canada, L8N 3Z5 (E-mail:

Accepted for publication: January 18, 2019.

Editor: Ryan E. Rhodes, Ph.D.

© 2019 American College of Sports Medicine