New research suggests that weak muscles may accelerate aging

- muscle weakness - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The findings recommend that sustaining muscle power all through life might assist defend towards a number of widespread age-related illnesses. Credit score: Justin Ross, Michigan Medication

The examine offers among the first proof of a hyperlink between muscle weak spot and accelerated organic age, in response to the researchers.

Individuals age at completely different charges on account of quite a lot of inner and exterior elements, which may have an effect on their organic age and threat of illness or early loss of life. This is the reason two people who find themselves 50 years previous might not have the identical stage of organic growing older, although they’ve lived for a similar variety of years.

Life-style selections, corresponding to eating regimen, smoking, and illness, speed up organic age past a person’s chronological age. The researchers found that grip power, a measure of total muscle power, is expounded to organic age on this method. Particularly, the examine revealed in Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and MuscleIt was discovered that folks with weaker grip power had older organic ages.

Michigan Medication researchers modeled the connection between organic age and grip power for 1,274 middle-aged and older adults utilizing three “age acceleration clocks” based mostly on[{” attribute=””>DNA methylation, a process that provides a molecular biomarker and estimator of the pace of aging. The clocks were originally modeled from various studies examining diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, physical disability, University of Michigan.

“This suggests that if you maintain your muscle strength across the lifespan, you may be able to protect against many common age-related diseases. We know that smoking, for example, can be a powerful predictor of disease and mortality, but now we know that muscle weakness could be the new smoking.”

The real strength of this study was in the eight to 10 years of observation, in which lower grip strength predicted faster biological aging measured up to a decade later, said Jessica Faul, Ph.D., M.P.H., a co-author of the study and research associate professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research.

Past studies have shown that low grip strength is an extremely strong predictor of adverse health events. One study even found that it is a better predictor of cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction, than systolic blood pressure – the clinical hallmark for detecting heart disorders. Peterson and his team have previously shown a robust association between weakness and chronic disease and mortality across populations.

This evidence coupled with their study’s recent findings, Peterson says, shows potential for clinicians to adopt the use of grip strength as a way to screen individuals for future risk of functional decline, chronic disease, and even early mortality.

“Screening for grip strength would allow for the opportunity to design interventions to delay or prevent the onset or progression of these adverse ‘age-related’ health events,” he said. “We have been pushing for clinicians to start using grip strength in their clinics and only in geriatrics has this sort of been incorporated. However, not many people are using this, even though we’ve seen hundreds of publications showing that grip strength is a really good measure of health.”

Investigators say future research is needed to understand the connection between grip strength and age acceleration, including how inflammatory conditions contribute to age-related weakness and mortality. Previous studies have shown that chronic inflammation in aging – known as “inflammaging” – is a significant risk factor for mortality among older adults. This inflammation is also associated with lower grip strength and may be a significant predictor of the pathway between lower grip strength and both disability and chronic disease multimorbidity.

Additionally, Peterson says, studies must focus on how lifestyle and behavioral factors, such as physical activity and diet, can affect grip strength and age acceleration.

“Healthy dietary habits are very important, but I think regular exercise is the most critical thing that somebody can do to preserve health across the lifespan,” he said. “We can show it with a biomarker like DNA methylation age, and we can also test it with a clinical feature like grip strength.”

References: “Grip strength is inversely associated with DNA methylation age acceleration” by Mark D. Peterson, Stacey Collins, Helen C.S. Meier, Alexander Brahmsteadt and Jessica D. Faul, 9 November 2022, Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and Muscle.
DOI: 10.1002/jcsm.13110

“DNA methylation patterns reflect individual’s lifestyle independent of obesity” by Ireen Klemp, Anne Hoffmann, Luise Müller, Tobias Hagemann, Kathrin Horn, Kerstin Rohde-Zimmermann, Anke Tönjes, Joachim Thiery, Markus Löffler, Ralph Burkhardt, Yvonne Böttcher, Michael Stumvoll, Matthias Blüher, Knut Krohn, Markus Scholz, Ronny Baber, Paul W Franks, Peter Kovacs and Maria Keller, 12 June 2022, Clinical and Translational Medicine.
DOI: 10.1002/ctm2.851

“Prognostic value of grip strength: findings from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study” by Dr. Darryl P Leong, Ph.D., Prof Koon K Teo, Ph.D., Sumathy Rangarajan, MSc, Prof Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo, Ph.D., Alvaro Avezum Jr, MD, Andres Orlandini, MD, Pamela Seron, MSc, Suad H Ahmed, Ph.D., Prof Annika Rosengren, MD, Prof Roya Kelishadi, MD, Prof Omar Rahman, DSc, Sumathi Swaminathan, Ph.D., Romaina Iqbal, Ph.D., Rajeev Gupta, Ph.D., Prof Scott A Lear, Ph.D., Prof Aytekin Oguz, MD, Prof Khalid Yusoff, MBBS, Katarzyna Zatonska, MD, Jephat Chifamba, MPhil, Prof Ehimario Igumbor, Ph.D., Viswanathan Mohan, Ph.D., Ranjit Mohan Anjana, MD, Hongqiu Gu, Ph.D., Prof Wei Li, Ph.D. and Prof Salim Yusuf, DPhil, on behalf of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study investigators, 13 May 2015, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62000-6

The study was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Leave a Comment