Dr. Ayse Zengin, PhD, Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge completed a study in the UK, looking at the relationship between muscle strength as men age and their risk of fracture and fall.
Here are some highlights of the study:
- A total of 301 men over the age of 40 years were involved in this study.
- Lower limbs muscle force and power were measured by having the participants to perform a jumping mechanography, which involves a single two-legged jump on a ground reaction- force platform.
- Why study men? While there are many studies done on bone and muscle strength in women,. there are relatively fewer studies of bone health in older men.
- The Consequences of a Fracture in Men are Worse than in Women. Even though men have fewer fractures than women, they have increased mortality following a fracture.
- As men grow older, their muscle strength drops, and this can serve as a significant predictor of bone fractures.
- Muscle power is strongly associated with fall risk. An increased risk of falls is associated with decline in muscle power (a factor that reflects how fast someone can produce force)
- Muscle Force and Power. Not Muscle Mass Alone. There is a far more rapid decline in muscle strength than muscle mass as men age. Younger and older men can have the same muscle mass, but older men cannot perform functional tests.
In another study conducted, in Australia
- Mortality increases after hip fractures in women and more so in men. Little is known.
These studies suggest that physical training involving strength and power in the lower limbs, may help to improve bone strength and decrease the risk of falling. Training should always involve some types of balancing as well.