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Exercise in middle age may protect against muscle weakness later in life

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Regular exercise in middle age protects against muscle weakness later in life, says a new study explained in the December 14, 2013 news release, "Regular exercise in middle age protects against muscle weakness later in life." You can read the abstract of the study, "Prevalence of sarcopenia and its association with exercise habits in the elderly of Japanese population-based cohorts: the Road Study," just published online in the journal Osteoporosis International, Vol. 2, Supplement, 4. 2013.

You also can take a look at the article, "Regular exercise in middle age protects against muscle weakness later in life," or check out the video, Regular Exercise During Middle Age Can Help Strength Later On. A new Japanese study shows exercise in middle age is a protective factor against sarcopenia (muscle weakness and/or muscle wasting in the elderly) and effective in maintaining muscle strength and physical performance. During this week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) the International Osteoporosis Foundation is having its annual meeting in Hong Kong, with numerous presentations each day of the meeting's plenary sessions.

A cross-sectional study by investigators from Tokyo University has found that exercising in middle age is a protective factor against sarcopenia and effective in maintaining muscle strength and physical performance. Sarcopenia is a disease associated with the aging process, resulting in loss of skeletal muscle mass and muscle strength and/or function in the elderly. The multiple adverse health outcomes include physical disability, poor quality of life and premature death.

Sarcopenia and the aging process: From handgrip strength to gait and muscle mass

The study assessed the prevalence of sarcopenia and its association with physical performance in 1000 elderly Japanese participants (349 men and 651 women aged ≥65 years) enrolled in the Research on Osteoarthritis/Osteoporosis Against Disability (ROAD) Study. Handgrip strength, gait speed, and skeletal muscle mass were measured and other information collected, including exercise habits in middle age.

The prevalence of sarcopenia was 13.8% in men and 12.4% in women, and tended to be significantly higher with increasing age in both sexes. Factors associated with sarcopenia were chair stand time (odds ratio [OR], 1.09; 95% CI, 1.04-1.14), one-leg standing time (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99), and exercise habit in middle age (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.31-0.90) after adjusting for age, sex and body mass index (BMI).

Exercise habit in middle age was associated with low prevalence of muscle weakness in older age

Analysis showed that exercise habit in middle age was associated with low prevalence of sarcopenia in older age and was significantly associated with grip strength, gait speed, and one-leg standing time after adjusting for age, sex and BMI. The study was presented at the IOF Regionals 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting, being held in Hong Kong from December 12–15, 2013. You also can check out, "Abstract OC11: Prevalence of sarcopenia and its association with exercise habits in the elderly of Japanese population-based cohorts: the Road Study, Osteoporosis Int, Vol. 2, Suppl. 4. 2013. Also, you may wish to check out the Facebook and Twitter sites on bone health, or the International Osteoporosis Foundation on bone health.

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