Age and gender, two key factors in the associations between physical activity and strength during the ageing process

Article (PDF Available)inMaturitas 78(2) · June 2014with96 Reads
DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.03.007
Objectives The aims of this study were to identify if the associations of physical activity (PA) and muscle strength may vary throughout the ageing process; to study the differences among genders in the relationships between PA and strength in elderly people and to test whether these differences are explained by the hormonal, nutritional and inflammatory status. Study design A total of 1741 people ≥65 years of age participated in this cross-sectional study. Main outcome measures Upper- and lower-limbs maximal voluntary isometric strength was obtained using standardized techniques and equipment. PA was recorded by a validated questionnaire. The associations of PA with strength were assessed using generalized linear regression models with a Gamma-distributed dependent variable. Results A significant gender by PA interaction was found for all strength-related variables (all P < 0.01). Moreover, when sexual hormones, albumin or C-Reactive protein were taken into account in the model, the results did not significantly change. In women, PA was positively associated with upper and lower-body strength; however in men, PA was only associated with grip and knee strength (both P < 0.01). Higher strength values were associated with higher levels of PA, especially in women. However, this tendency had a different pattern across the age range, showing a stronger association in the ‘young’ elderly compared with the ‘old’ elderly. Conclusion Higher levels of PA are related to greater muscle strength, especially in women and those who were younger.

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Available from: Francisco José García García, May 03, 2014
    • "For example, higher leisure time physical activity (LTPA) assessed longitudinally across midlife was associated with stronger GS at age 60–64 in both men and women [31]. In Danish Health2006 study (aged 19–72), higher LTPA was also significantly related to stronger GS in both sexes [48], whilst women (aged !64) in the Toledo Study of Healthy Aging benefited more from higher physical activity then men, but adults aged !85 benefited less compared with younger counterparts [49]. The finding from the present study suggests the importance of maintaining higher level of physical activity for muscle strength well into late adulthood. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Weak grip strength (GS) is a key component of sarcopenia and frailty and a powerful predictor of mortality, morbidity and disability. Despite increasing interest in understanding GS across the lifespan, little is known about GS decline in the very old (aged ≥85). We examined trajectories of GS in very old adults and identified the determinants. Methods: GS (kg) was measured four times over 5 years in 319 men and 526 women participating in the Newcastle 85+ Study. A weak GS sub-cohort was identified as having strength of ≤27 kg (men), and ≤16 kg (women) at baseline and follow-up. Mixed models were used to establish trajectories of GS and associated factors in all participants, men and women, and in those with weak GS. Results: Men's mean grip strength was 24.42 (SD = 6.77) kg, and women's 13.23 (4.42) kg (p<0.001) at baseline, with mean absolute change of -5.27 (4.90) kg and -3.14 (3.41), respectively (p<0.001) by 5-year follow-up. In the time-only mixed model, men experienced linear annual decline in GS of -1.13 (0.8) kg (β (SE), p<0.001), whilst women's decline although slower, accelerated by -0.06 (0.02) kg (p = 0.01) over time. In the saturated model, higher baseline physical activity, height, fat-free mass, better self-rated health, and not having arthritis in hand(s) were associated with stronger GS initially in both sexes. Annual GS decline in men and participants with weak GS who were highly physically active was slower by 0.95 and 0.52 kg, respectively compared with inactive counterparts. Conclusion: Grip strength decline in the very old followed linear (men) and curvilinear (women) trends. High levels of physical activity were protective of GS loss in men (but not in women) and in those with weak GS. Thus maintaining muscle strength in later life is important to reduce the morbidity and mortality in the very old.
    Article · Sep 2016
    • "Furthermore, the association persisted after adjustment for body size and was not explained by nutritional status, the presence of chronic disease or degree of physical activity. Cooper and colleagues recognised sex as a potential source of heterogeneity on the effects of physical capability on mortality, as well as another previous study from our research group evaluating the associations between physical activity and strength during the ageing process91011. These evidences suggest that sex should be taken into consideration when exploring the relationship between muscle strength and health events in elders. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: the association between muscular strength, mortality and hospitalisation with ageing can change depending on sex and the body region analysed (e.g. upper and lower limb muscles). to determine the effect of measuring lower and upper extremities muscular strength on the relationship between strength, mortality and hospitalisation risk in elder men and women. a population-based cohort study using data from the Toledo Study for Healthy Aging (TSHA). a Spanish population sample of 1,755 elders aged ≥65 years participated in this study. Upper (handgrip and shoulder) and lower limbs (knee and hip) maximal voluntary isometric strength was obtained using standardised techniques and equipment. Cox proportional hazards model was used to examine mortality and hospitalisation over 5.5 and 3 years of follow-up, respectively. after adjustment for potential confounding factors, including co-morbidities and BMI, hazard ratio of death and hospitalisation was significantly lower in the stronger women and men, but showing regional- and sex-specific differences. That is shoulder, knee and hip muscle regions in women and handgrip and shoulder in men (all P < 0.05). There was a cumulative effect of measuring several muscle strengths over the risk of health events (P < 0.05), so that mortality hazard ratio increased by 45% in women and 25% in men per muscular strength (shoulder, grip, knee and hip) in the weaker strength quartile increase (P < 0.01). regional muscle strength is a predictor of medium-term mortality and hospitalisation in elder men and women. Multiple strength measures including lower and upper body limb muscles are better predictors than a single strength measurement. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: The aim of this study was to describe the relationship between accelerometer-determined physical activity (PA), muscle mass, and lower-limb strength in community-dwelling older adults. Methods: Six hundred thirty-six community-dwelling older adults (66 ± 7 years) were studied. Muscle mass was measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, whilst lower limb strength was measured via dynamometry. We measured minutes/day spent in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous intensity activity using Actigraph GT1M accelerometers. Results: Participants spent a median of 583(Interquartile ratio (IQR) 522-646), 225(176-271), 27(12-45) and 0(0-0) min in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous activity, respectively. PA intensity was positively associated with both lean mass percentage and lower limb strength in a dose-response fashion. Sedentary activity was negatively associated with lean mass percentage, but not lower-limb strength. There was a positive association between PA and appendicular lean mass in men only. There was an interaction between age and activity; as age increased, the magnitude of the association of PA with lean mass percentage decreased. Those who adhered to the Australian Department of Health PA guidelines (moderate/vigorous PA >/=150 min/week) had greater lean mass percentage, appendicular lean mass, and lower limb strength. Conclusions: Using accelerometer technology, both the amount and intensity of accelerometer-determined PA had an independent, dose-response relationship with lean mass percentage and lower limb strength, with the largest effect for vigorous activity. Time spent in sedentary activity was negatively associated with lean mass percentage, but was not associated with lower limb strength. The magnitude of the association between PA and lean mass percentage decreased with age, suggesting that PA programmes may need to be modified with increasing age.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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