Relationships of Muscle Echo Intensity with Walking Ability and Physical Activity in the Very Old Population

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This study investigated the relationships between muscle echo intensity (EI), physical activity (PA), and functional mobility in 108 Japanese (88–92 years). We measured EI and muscle thickness (MT) at the midpoint of the anterior superior iliac spine and patella using B-mode ultrasound. Light and moderate-to-vigorous PA (LPA and MVPA) were assessed with a triaxial accelerometer. The timed up and go (TUG) test was used to measure for functional mobility. EI, but not MT, was significantly associated with both TUG scores (β = 0.17, p = .047) and MVPA (β = –0.31, p = .01) when adjusted by potential confounders. However, association between EI and TUG disappeared after adjusted for MVPA. Meanwhile, MVPA was significantly associated with TUG scores independent of EI (β = –0.35, p < .001). Although EI of anterior thigh muscles might be a weaker predictor of functional morbidity than MVPA, it is a noninvasive and practical approach for assessing muscle quality in the very old.

Osawa is with the Center for Supercentenarian Medical Research, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan; and the Sports Medicine Research Center, Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan. Arai, Hirata, Abe, and Hirose are with the Center for Supercentenarian Medical Research, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. Oguma is with the Sports Medicine Research Center, Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan; and the Graduate School of Health Management, Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan. Azuma is with the Institute for Integrated Sports Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. Takayama is with the Center for Preventive Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Address author correspondence to Yusuke Osawa at yosawa1028@gmail.com.