Changes in muscle thickness over 12 months in older frail women nursing home residents

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Takeshima, Nobuo
Shimada, Keizo
Ishida, Yoshie
Kitabayashi, Yukiko
Kato, Yoshiji
Rogers, Nicole L.
Rogers, Michael E.

Takeshima, Nobuo, Shimada, Keizo, Ishida, Yoshie, Kitabayashi, Yukiko, Kato, Yoshiji, Rogers, Nicole L., and Rogers, Michael E. 2012. Changes in Muscle Thickness Over 12 Months in Older Frail Women Nursing Home Residents. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, v.20 supplement pp. s216


Introduction: The reduction of skeletal muscle mass that occurs with aging (sarcopenia) leads to disability in the elderly population. Purpose: To investigate the prevalence of sarcopenia among older frail nursing home residents and to examine the rate of change in muscle thickness (MT) over 12 months. Methods: B-scan ultrasound equipment with a 5MHz transducer was used to measure MT on 16 older frail women nursing home residents (age = 85.0 yr, height = 143.9 cm, mass 45.4kg) at six sites (triceps, biceps, subscapular, abdomen, quadriceps, and hamstrings). Sarcopenia was defined as 2 SD below the MT norm for Japanese young men and women (Abe and Fukunaga, 1995). Results: MT of quadriceps for all subjects was 2 SD below the normal MT of young adults at baseline. The prevalence of sarcopenia in triceps, biceps, abdomen, subscapular, and hamstrings was 25-93% at baseline. After 6 months of living in a nursing home, the prevalence of sarcopenia for the upper body and trunk increased (p < 0.05). Biceps and triceps MT decreased by 37% and 32%, respectively, after 12 months. Abdomen and subscapular MT decreased by 29% and 52%, respectively. Quadriceps and hamstrings MT decreased by 18% and 24%, respectively. Conclusion: Residing in a nursing home and maintaining an inactive lifestyle is associated with a decrease of upper limb and trunk MT that parallels the loss of muscle mass in the lower limbs. Future research should address interventions that attenuate this muscle loss.

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