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Am J Med. 2006 Jun;119(6):526.e9-17.

Inflammatory markers and loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and strength.

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  • 1Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine (EMGO Institute), VU University Medical Center, The Netherlands. l.schaap@vumc.nl

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The objective of this study was to investigate whether high levels of serum interleukin (IL)-6, C-reactive protein (CRP), and alpha1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) were associated with the loss of muscle strength or muscle mass (sarcopenia) in older persons.

SUBJECTS:

The study included 986 men and women of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, with a mean age of 74.6 years (standard deviation 6.2).

METHODS:

Grip strength (n = 986) and appendicular muscle mass (n = 328, using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) were obtained in 1995 and 1996 and repeated after a 3-year follow-up. Loss of muscle strength was defined as a loss of grip strength greater than 40%, and sarcopenia was defined as a loss of muscle mass greater than 3%, approximating the lowest 15% of the study sample.

RESULTS:

Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses revealed that higher levels of IL-6 were associated with greater decline in muscle strength, which decreased by -3.21 kg (standard error 0.81) per standard deviation increase in log-transformed IL-6. After adjustment for confounders, including sociodemographic, health, and lifestyle factors, high IL-6 (>5 pg/mL) and high CRP (>6.1 mug/mL) were associated with a 2 to 3-fold greater risk of losing greater than 40% of muscle strength. Persons with high levels of ACT (>181% of the normal human pooled plasma) were 40% less likely to experience loss of muscle strength and tended (P = .07) to have a smaller decline in muscle mass compared with those in the lowest quartile of ACT. No consistent associations of IL-6 and CRP with sarcopenia were found.

CONCLUSION:

The findings of this prospective, population-based study suggest that higher levels of IL-6 and CRP increase the risk of muscle strength loss, whereas higher levels of ACT decrease the risk of muscle strength loss in older men and women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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