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Body Mass Index From Age 15 Years Onwards and Muscle Mass, Strength, and Quality in Early Old Age: Findings From the MRC National Survey of Health and Development.

Cooper, Rachel ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3370-5720, Cooper, R ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3370-5720, Hardy, R, Bann, D, Aihie, Sayer A, Ward, KA, Adams, JE, Kuh, D, Health, on behalf of the MRC National Survey of, Scientific, Development and Team, Data Collection (2014) Body Mass Index From Age 15 Years Onwards and Muscle Mass, Strength, and Quality in Early Old Age: Findings From the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. Journals of Gerontology, Series A, 69A (10). pp. 1253-1259. ISSN 1079-5006

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Abstract

Background. As more people live more of their lives obese, it is unclear what impact this will have on muscle mass, strength, and quality. We aimed to examine the associations of body mass index (BMI) from age 15 years onwards with low muscle mass, strength, and quality in early old age. Methods. A total of 1,511 men and women from a British birth cohort study with BMI measured at 15, 20, 26, 36, 43, 53, and 60–64 years and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scans at 60–64 years were included. Four binary outcomes identified those in the bottom sex-specific 20% of (a) appendicular lean mass (ALM) index (kilogram per square meter), (b) ALM residuals (derived from sex-specific models in which ALM (kilogram) = β0 + β1 height [meter] + β2 fat mass [kilogram]), (c) grip strength (kilogram), (d) muscle quality (grip strength [kilogram]/arm lean mass [kilogram]). Associations of BMI with each outcome were tested. Results. Higher BMI from age 15 years was associated with lower odds of low ALM but higher odds of low muscle quality (per 1 SD increase in BMI at 36 years, odds ratio of low ALM residuals = 0.50 [95% CI: 0.43, 0.59], and muscle quality = 1.50 [1.29, 1.75]). Greater gains in BMI were associated with lower odds of low ALM index but higher odds of low muscle quality. BMI was not associated with grip strength. Conclusions. Given increases in the global prevalence of obesity, cross-cohort comparisons of sarcopenia need to consider our findings that greater gains in BMI are associated with higher muscle mass but not with grip strength and therefore with lower muscle quality.

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