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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Sep;51(9):1237-43.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 and interleukin 6 predict sarcopenia in very old community-living men and women: the Framingham Heart Study.

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Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To assess the prognostic role of the inflammatory cytokine, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in predicting 2-year changes in fat-free mass (FFM) while controlling for potential confounders.


Population-based cohort, the Framingham Heart Study, examined in 1992-93 and 1994-95.


General community.


Two hundred thirty-two men and 326 women aged 72 to 92.


IGF-1 was measured using radio-immunoassay and cellular IL-6 production using non-cross-reacting radioimmunoassays. FFM was estimated using population-specific equations for predicting FFM from bioelectrical impedance analysis developed separately for men and women.


Higher IGF-1 predicted smaller loss of FFM in men than lower IGF-1 did (P=.002), after adjusting for age, baseline FFM, fat mass, and 2-year weight changes, whereas cellular IL-6 was a significant predictor of sarcopenia in women (P=.02). Weight change was a strong determinant of change in FFM in both sexes (P<.0001).


Predictors of sarcopenia include body composition characteristics that are common to men and women and sex-specific metabolic predictors. Sarcopenia appears to reflect a withdrawal of anabolic stimuli, such as growth hormone, in men but an increase in catabolic stimuli, such as cellular IL-6, in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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