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Cawthon PM, Orwoll ES, Peters KE, Ensrud KE, Cauley JA, Kado DM, Stefanick ML, Shikany JM, Strotmeyer ES, Glynn NW, Caserotti P, Shankaran M, Hellerstein M, Cummings SR, Evans WJ, Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Research Group. Strong Relation Between Muscle Mass Determined by D3-creatine Dilution, Physical Performance, and Incidence of Falls and Mobility Limitations in a Prospective Cohort of Older Men. The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2019 May 16; 74(6):844-852.
Direct assessment of skeletal muscle mass in older adults is clinically challenging. Relationships between lean mass and late-life outcomes have been inconsistent. The D3-creatine dilution method provides a direct assessment of muscle mass.
Muscle mass was assessed by D3-creatine (D3Cr) dilution in 1,382 men (mean age, 84.2 years). Participants completed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB); usual walking speed (6 m); and dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) lean mass. Men self-reported mobility limitations (difficulty walking 2-3 blocks or climbing 10 steps); recurrent falls (2+); and serious injurious falls in the subsequent year. Across quartiles of D3Cr muscle mass/body mass, multivariate linear models calculated means for SPPB and gait speed; multivariate logistic models calculated odds ratios for incident mobility limitations or falls.
Compared to men in the highest quartile, those in the lowest quartile of D3Cr muscle mass/body mass had slower gait speed (Q1: 1.04 vs Q4: 1.17 m/s); lower SPPB (Q1: 8.4 vs Q4: 10.4 points); greater likelihood of incident serious injurious falls (odds ratio [OR] Q1 vs Q4: 2.49, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.37, 4.54); prevalent mobility limitation (OR Q1 vs Q4,: 6.1, 95% CI: 3.7, 10.3) and incident mobility limitation (OR Q1 vs Q4: 2.15 95% CI: 1.42, 3.26); p for trend < .001 for all. Results for incident recurrent falls were in the similar direction (p = .156). DXA lean mass had weaker associations with the outcomes.
Unlike DXA lean mass, low D3Cr muscle mass/body mass is strongly related to physical performance, mobility, and incident injurious falls in older men.