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J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 Jan;19(1):113-20. doi: 10.1007/s12603-014-0476-6.

Community-dwelling female fallers have lower muscle density in their lower legs than non-fallers: evidence from the Saskatoon Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos) cohort.

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A.W. Frank, M.Sc., College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, 87 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK. S7N5B2, Canada, Phone: +1 (306) 966-1123, Fax: +1 (306) 966-6464, E-mail:



Our objectives were to determine whether peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT)-derived lower leg muscle density and area, and basic functional mobility differ between community-dwelling older women who do and do not report recent falls.


Matched case-control comparison.


Academic biomedical imaging laboratory.


147 Women, 60 years or older (mean age 74.3 y, SD 7.7) recruited from a longitudinal, population-based cohort representing community-dwelling residents in the area of Saskatoon, Canada.


A cross-sectional pQCT scan of the non-dominant lower leg was acquired to determine muscle density and area. Basic functional mobility (Timed Up and Go Test [TUG]) and SF36 health status were also measured. Fallers (one or more falls) and non-fallers (no falls) were grouped according to a 12-month retrospective survey and matched on measured covariates.


The muscle density of fallers (n = 35) was a median of 2.1 mg/cm3 lower (P = 0.019, 95% C.I. -3.9 to -0.1) than non-fallers (n = 78) after matching and adjusting for age, body mass index, and SF36 general health scores. Muscle area and TUG did not differ between fallers and non-fallers.


Muscle density may serve as a physiological marker in the assessment of lower leg muscular health and fall risk in community-dwelling elderly women. These results are limited to our study population who were mostly Caucasian. Prospective studies are required for verification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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