Older males exhibit reduced anterior upper leg and anterior abdominal muscle thickness compared to younger males when matched for relative appendicular lean tissue
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Background Ageing-related muscle atrophy does not occur uniformly across the body; rather, atrophy occurs to a greater extent in specific muscle groups compared to others. However, site-specific comparisons of muscle mass between older and younger adults typically do not account for relative muscle mass (i.e., matched for age- and sex-specific percentiles), which may confound site-specific differences. Furthermore, the uniformity of ageing-related differences in muscle composition (e.g., intramuscular adipose tissue) across the body are not well characterized. Purpose To examine site-specific muscle mass and composition differences between younger and older males matched for relative muscle mass. Methods Younger (18-44 years old, n = 19) and older (≥65 years old, n = 19) males were matched for relative appendicular lean tissue index (NHANES age- and sex-specific Z-scores) measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Site-specific differences in skeletal muscle size (thickness) and composition (echo-intensity) were evaluated using ultrasound for 8 distinct landmarks across the body. Results Relative appendicular lean tissue mass was well matched between younger and older males (Z-score difference: -0.02, p = 0.927). Compared with younger males, older males had smaller muscle thickness for the anterior upper leg (difference: -1.08 cm, p < 0.001) and anterior abdomen (difference: -0.53 cm, p < 0.001). However, older adults displayed higher echo intensity across all muscles (p < 0.05), except for the posterior upper arm (p = 0.377), in comparison to the younger males. Conclusions When matched for relative appendicular lean tissue, muscle thickness differences between younger and older males are not-uniform across the body, whereas echo intensity was more uniformly higher in the older males.
has subject area