Bigger Muscles Linked to Lower Risk of Dying7 years, 6 months ago
Posted on Apr 21, 2014, 6 a.m.
Older people who have above-average muscle mass also have a significantly lower risk of dying from all-causes.
Recent study results suggest that the more muscle mass an older person has, the less likely they are to die prematurely. Dr Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant clinical professor in the endocrinology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and colleagues analyzed body composition data obtained from 3,659 men (aged 55 and over) and women (aged 65 and over) who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, between 1988 and 1994. The authors then determined how many of the participants had died from natural causes based on a follow-up survey carried out in 2004. Results showed that all-cause mortality was significantly lower in participants with the highest muscle mass index than it was in participants with the lowest muscle mass. "In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death," said study co-author Dr. Arun Karlamangla, an associate professor in the geriatrics division at UCLA. "Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass."
Srikanthan P, Karlamangla AS. "Muscle Mass Index as a Predictor of Longevity in Older-Adults." Am J Med. 2014, Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print].