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Isokinematic muscle mechanics in four groups of women of increasing age.

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Division of Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of age on dynamic muscle attributes of the knee extensors and flexors in postmenopausal women. Young healthy women (3rd decade, n = 15; 4th decade, n = 5) and older healthy women (6th decade, n = 9; 7th decade, n = 6) were tested at six angular velocities from 60 degrees.s-1 to 400 degrees.s-1. The 3rd and 4th decade groups produced greater extensor and flexor values for strength related variables at all angular velocities (peak torque, angle specific torque, work, power) than both the 6th and 7th decade groups (P < 0.05). However, relative changes in these variables, with increments in angular velocity, were equivalent among the groups. Analysis of the flexor: extensor ratios for these variables demonstrated a differential loss in flexor function with increased age, perhaps indicative of type II motor unit loss or muscle fibre atrophy. It is suggested that such changes may be present even within 4th decade subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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