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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331348

Research Project: Nutrition, Sarcopenia, Physical Activity, and Skeletal Muscle Function in the Elderly

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Age associated declines in muscle mass, strength, power, and physical performance: impact on fear of falling and quality of life

Author
item Trombetti, Andrea - Geneva University Hospital
item Reid, Kieran - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Hars, Melany - Geneva University Hospital
item Herrmann, Francois - Geneva University Hospital
item Pasha, Evan - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Phillips, Edward - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Fielding, Roger - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Osteoporosis International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/2015
Publication Date: 2/27/2016
Citation: Trombetti, A., Reid, K.F., Hars, M., Herrmann, F., Pasha, E., Phillips, E.M., Fielding, R.A. 2016. Age associated declines in muscle mass, strength, power, and physical performance: impact on fear of falling and quality of life. Osteoporosis International. 27(2):463-471. doi:10.1007/s00198-015-3236-5.

Interpretive Summary: The age associated loss of skeletal muscle mass and function are critical determinants of physical functioning in later life. However, longitudinal studies investigating how decrements in the muscle components of sarcopenia impact fear of falling and quality of life in older persons are lacking. This 3-year longitudinal study among healthy and mobility limited older adults showed that declining muscle mass, strength, power and physical performance are independent contributing factors to increased fear of falling, while declines of muscle mass and physical performance contribute to deterioration of quality of life. Our findings reinforce the importance of developing interventions to preserve muscle health with advancing age.

Technical Abstract: SUMMARY: This 3 year longitudinal study among older adults showed that declining muscle mass, strength, power, and physical performance are independent contributing factors to increased fear of falling, while declines of muscle mass and physical performance contribute to deterioration of quality of life. Our findings reinforce the importance of preserving muscle health with advancing age. INTRODUCTION: The age associated loss of skeletal muscle quantity and function are critical determinants of independent physical functioning in later life. Longitudinal studies investigating how decrements in muscle components of sarcopenia impact fear of falling (FoF) and quality of life (QoL) in older adults are lacking. METHODS: Twenty six healthy older subjects (age, 74.1 +/- 3.7; Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score >/=10) and 22 mobility limited older subjects (age, 77.2 +/- 4.4; SPPB score </=9) underwent evaluations of lower extremity muscle size and composition by computed tomography, strength and power, and physical performance at baseline and after 3 year follow up. The Falls Efficacy Scale (FES) and Short Form 36 questionnaire (SF 36) were also administered at both timepoints to assess FoF and QoL, respectively. RESULTS: At 3 year follow up, muscle cross sectional area (CSA) (p<0.013) and power decreased (p<0.001), while intermuscular fat infiltration increased (p<0.001). These decrements were accompanied with a longer time to complete 400 m by 22 +/- 46 s (p<0.002). Using linear mixed effects regression models, declines of muscle CSA, strength and power, and SPPB score were associated with increased FES score (p<0.05 for each model). Reduced physical component summary score of SF 36 over follow up was independently associated with decreased SPPB score (p<0.020), muscle CSA (p<0.046), and increased 400 m walk time (p<0.003). CONCLUSIONS: In older adults with and without mobility limitations, declining muscle mass, strength, power, and physical performance contribute independently to increase FoF, while declines of muscle mass and physical performance contribute to deterioration of QoL. These findings provide further rationale for developing interventions to improve aging muscle health.