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Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2014 Feb;14 Suppl 1:8-14. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12209.

Age-dependent changes in skeletal muscle mass and visceral fat area in Japanese adults from 40 to 79 years-of-age.

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Department of Human Health Sciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.



The age-dependent loss of skeletal muscle mass is highly concerning in diverse aging populations. However, age-dependent changes in muscle mass and the visceral fat area have not been well documented in Asian populations. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the age-dependent changes in skeletal muscle mass and the visceral fat area in Japanese adults from 40 to 79 years-of-age.


This was a cross-sectional study. Healthy men (n = 16,379) and women (n = 21,660) aged 40-79 years participated in the present study. The skeletal muscle mass and visceral fat area were measured in the study participants by bioelectrical impedance. The muscle mass data were converted into the skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) by dividing the weight by the height squared (kg/m(2)).


The SMI showed an age-dependent decrease in both sexes. Between 40 and 79 years, the total SMI decreased by 10.8% in men and by 6.4% in women. The arm SMI decreased by 12.6% in men and 4.1% in women, and the leg SMI decreased by 10.1% in men and by 7.1% in women in the same period. In contrast, the visceral fat area showed an age-dependent increase in both sexes. The visceral fat area increased by 42.9% in men and by 65.3% in women. The multiple regression analysis showed that the SMI was negatively associated with visceral obesity in both sexes.


In Japanese adults, sex-specific changes in skeletal muscle mass are more prominent in the arm than in the leg. Furthermore, the age-dependent increases in visceral adipose tissue might lead to loss of skeletal muscle mass.


Japanese; age-dependent; skeletal muscle mass; visceral fat area

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