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As harmful as osteoporosis but less well known - New research better explains sarcopenia

f 14 journals published each month by the American Physiological Society (APS).

Methodology
The study population consisted of 526 subjects (mean age: male 65 + 15; female 66 +16). Subjects affected by diabetes mellitus and major clinical cardiovascular diseases were excluded, as well as those taking drugs known to interfere with IGF-I and IL-6 metabolism. Clinical information was obtained by routine laboratory analyses and physical examination.

Blood samples were collected in the morning after the participants had been fasting for at least eight hours. Glucose level was immediately quantified by an enzymatic colorimetric assay using a modified glucose oxidase-peroxidase method and an analyzer. Several 0.5-ml aliquots of serum were processed immediately and stored at 80C and subsequently used for the assessment of hormones and cytokines. Plasma insulin and free IGF-I concentrations were determined.

Isometric grip muscle strength was assessed using a hand-held dynamometer following a standardized measurement protocol that has been shown to provide highly reliable data. Each muscle group was tested two times, and separate measures were obtained for the left and the right side for each hand. The best measure for the strongest side was used in the analysis. Explosive muscle power of lower extremity in extension (physical work delivered to the external environment in a unit of time) was evaluated.

To approximate normal distributions, log-transformed values for plasma IL-6, triglycerides, insulin, and insulin resistance (HOMA) were used in the analyses. Differences in continuous variable between males and females were tested with the Student's t-test. Pearson product-moment correlations were calculated to test associations among variables.

Results
Study participants were slightly overweight with a mainly central body fat distribution. Women had lower plasma IL-6 levels and lower handgrip strength and total power
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
2-Apr-2003


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