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Issue 140 Summer 2021

Endocrinologist > Summer 2021 > Hot topics

Osteoporosis, sarcopenia and obesity and physical performance in ageing men

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Progressive loss of function during ageing occurs with a considerable degree of variability between individuals. This makes assessing each contributing variable challenging. The most common age-related features include reductions in muscle (sarcopenia) and bone mass (osteoporosis), leading to reduced mobility and increased mortality.

Genest et al. aimed to examine the influence of these features in combination with obesity. They then specifically related each of them to physical performance in aged males (65–90 years). Examination of 507 participants showed the differential impacts of overall muscle or bone mass. Coincidence of obesity with osteoporosis or sarcopenia was observed in only 15.6% and 2.8% of the subjects respectively, with obesity being the major contributor towards loss of function.

This study suggests that osteoporosis and obesity are more critical determinants of functional decline than a reduced muscle mass. This has potential importance for those studies directly addressing loss of muscle function, encouraging them to account for individual body size and bone mass.

Read the full article in Endocrine Connections 10 256–264.

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