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BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Feb 8;21(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12891-020-3098-7.

Lower-limb muscle strength: normative data from an observational population-based study.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, 3220, Australia. julie.pasco@deakin.edu.au.
2
Department of Medicine - Western Health, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, Australia. julie.pasco@deakin.edu.au.
3
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. julie.pasco@deakin.edu.au.
4
Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia. julie.pasco@deakin.edu.au.
5
School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, 3220, Australia.
6
Department of Medicine - Western Health, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, Australia.
7
Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The extent of muscle deterioration associated with ageing or disease can be quantified by comparison with appropriate reference data. The objective of this study is to present normative data for lower-limb muscle strength and quality for 573 males and 923 females aged 20-97 yr participating in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study in southeastern Australia.

METHODS:

In this cross-sectional study, measures of muscle strength for hip flexors and hip abductors were obtained using a Nicholas manual muscle tester, a hand-held dynamometer (HHD; kg). Leg lean mass was measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA; kg), and muscle quality calculated as strength/mass (N/kg).

RESULTS:

For both sexes, muscle strength and quality decreased with advancing age. Age explained 12.9-25.3% of the variance in muscle strength in males, and 20.8-24.6% in females; age explained less of the variance in muscle quality. Means and standard deviations for muscle strength and quality for each muscle group are reported by age-decade for each sex, and cutpoints equivalent to T-scores of - 2.0 and - 1.0 were derived using data from young males (n = 89) and females (n = 148) aged 20-39 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data will be useful for quantifying the extent of dynapenia and poor muscle quality among adults in the general population in the face of frailty, sarcopenia and other age-related muscle dysfunction.

KEYWORDS:

Dynapenia; Hand-held dynamometry; Manual muscle test; Reference values; Sarcopenia; Specific force

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