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      Sarcopenia, Dynapenia, and the Impact of Advancing Age on Human Skeletal Muscle Size and Strength; a Quantitative Review

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          Abstract

          Changing demographics make it ever more important to understand the modifiable risk factors for disability and loss of independence with advancing age. For more than two decades there has been increasing interest in the role of sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle or lean mass, in curtailing active and healthy aging. There is now evidence to suggest that lack of strength, or dynapenia, is a more constant factor in compromised wellbeing in old age and it is apparent that the decline in muscle mass and the decline in strength can take quite different trajectories. This demands recognition of the concept of muscle quality; that is the force generating per capacity per unit cross-sectional area (CSA). An understanding of the impact of aging on skeletal muscle will require attention to both the changes in muscle size and the changes in muscle quality. The aim of this review is to present current knowledge of the decline in human muscle mass and strength with advancing age and the associated risk to health and survival and to review the underlying changes in muscle characteristics and the etiology of sarcopenia. Cross-sectional studies comparing young (18–45 years) and old (>65 years) samples show dramatic variation based on the technique used and population studied. The median of values of rate of loss reported across studies is 0.47% per year in men and 0.37% per year in women. Longitudinal studies show that in people aged 75 years, muscle mass is lost at a rate of 0.64–0.70% per year in women and 0.80–00.98% per year in men. Strength is lost more rapidly. Longitudinal studies show that at age 75 years, strength is lost at a rate of 3–4% per year in men and 2.5–3% per year in women. Studies that assessed changes in mass and strength in the same sample report a loss of strength 2–5 times faster than loss of mass. Loss of strength is a more consistent risk for disability and death than is loss of muscle mass.

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          Most cited references 166

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          Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis

          The European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) developed a practical clinical definition and consensus diagnostic criteria for age-related sarcopenia. EWGSOP included representatives from four participant organisations, i.e. the European Geriatric Medicine Society, the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics—European Region and the International Association of Nutrition and Aging. These organisations endorsed the findings in the final document. The group met and addressed the following questions, using the medical literature to build evidence-based answers: (i) What is sarcopenia? (ii) What parameters define sarcopenia? (iii) What variables reflect these parameters, and what measurement tools and cut-off points can be used? (iv) How does sarcopenia relate to cachexia, frailty and sarcopenic obesity? For the diagnosis of sarcopenia, EWGSOP recommends using the presence of both low muscle mass + low muscle function (strength or performance). EWGSOP variously applies these characteristics to further define conceptual stages as ‘presarcopenia’, ‘sarcopenia’ and ‘severe sarcopenia’. EWGSOP reviewed a wide range of tools that can be used to measure the specific variables of muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance. Our paper summarises currently available data defining sarcopenia cut-off points by age and gender; suggests an algorithm for sarcopenia case finding in older individuals based on measurements of gait speed, grip strength and muscle mass; and presents a list of suggested primary and secondary outcome domains for research. Once an operational definition of sarcopenia is adopted and included in the mainstream of comprehensive geriatric assessment, the next steps are to define the natural course of sarcopenia and to develop and define effective treatment.
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            Skeletal muscle mass and distribution in 468 men and women aged 18-88 yr.

            We employed a whole body magnetic resonance imaging protocol to examine the influence of age, gender, body weight, and height on skeletal muscle (SM) mass and distribution in a large and heterogeneous sample of 468 men and women. Men had significantly (P < 0.001) more SM in comparison to women in both absolute terms (33.0 vs. 21.0 kg) and relative to body mass (38.4 vs. 30.6%). The gender differences were greater in the upper (40%) than lower (33%) body (P < 0.01). We observed a reduction in relative SM mass starting in the third decade; however, a noticeable decrease in absolute SM mass was not observed until the end of the fifth decade. This decrease was primarily attributed to a decrease in lower body SM. Weight and height explained approximately 50% of the variance in SM mass in men and women. Although a linear relationship existed between SM and height, the relationship between SM and body weight was curvilinear because the contribution of SM to weight gain decreased with increasing body weight. These findings indicate that men have more SM than women and that these gender differences are greater in the upper body. Independent of gender, aging is associated with a decrease in SM mass that is explained, in large measure, by a decrease in lower body SM occurring after the fifth decade.
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              Epidemiology of sarcopenia among the elderly in New Mexico.

              Muscle mass decreases with age, leading to "sarcopenia," or low relative muscle mass, in elderly people. Sarcopenia is believed to be associated with metabolic, physiologic, and functional impairments and disability. Methods of estimating the prevalence of sarcopenia and its associated risks in elderly populations are lacking. Data from a population-based survey of 883 elderly Hispanic and non-Hispanic white men and women living in New Mexico (the New Mexico Elder Health Survey, 1993-1995) were analyzed to develop a method for estimating the prevalence of sarcopenia. An anthropometric equation for predicting appendicular skeletal muscle mass was developed from a random subsample (n = 199) of participants and was extended to the total sample. Sarcopenia was defined as appendicular skeletal muscle mass (kg)/height2 (m2) being less than two standard deviations below the mean of a young reference group. Prevalences increased from 13-24% in persons under 70 years of age to >50% in persons over 80 years of age, and were slightly greater in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites. Sarcopenia was significantly associated with self-reported physical disability in both men and women, independent of ethnicity, age, morbidity, obesity, income, and health behaviors. This study provides some of the first estimates of the extent of the public health problem posed by sarcopenia.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Front Physiol
                Front Physiol
                Front. Physio.
                Frontiers in Physiology
                Frontiers Research Foundation
                1664-042X
                11 July 2012
                2012
                : 3
                Affiliations
                1simpleDivision of Surgery, School of Postgraduate Entry Medicine and Health, University of Nottingham Derby, UK
                2simpleDepartment of Clinical Physiology, School of Postgraduate Entry Medicine and Health, University of Nottingham Derby, UK
                Author notes

                Edited by: Ali Mobasheri, The University of Nottingham, UK

                Reviewed by: Julien Ochala, Uppsala University, Sweden; Kay Ohlendieck, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland

                *Correspondence: W. Kyle Mitchell, Division of Surgery, School of Postgraduate Entry Medicine and Health, University of Nottingham, Royal Derby Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3DT, UK. e-mail: kylemitchell@ 123456doctors.net.uk

                This article was submitted to Frontiers in Striated Muscle Physiology, a specialty of Frontiers in Physiology.

                Article
                10.3389/fphys.2012.00260
                3429036
                22934016
                Copyright © 2012 Mitchell, Williams, Atherton, Larvin, Lund and Narici.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 164, Pages: 18, Words: 18114
                Categories
                Physiology
                Review Article

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