Sarcopenia is the progressive generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function which occurs as a consequence of aging. With a growing older population, there has been great interest in developing approaches to counteract the effects of sarcopenia, and thereby reduce the age-related decline and disability. This paper reviews (1) the mechanisms of sarcopenia, (2) the diagnosis of sarcopenia, and (3) the potential interventions for sarcopenia. Multiple factors appear to be involved in the development of sarcopenia including the loss of muscle mass and muscle fibers, increased inflammation, altered hormonal levels, poor nutritional status, and altered renin–angiotensin system. The lack of diagnostic criteria to identify patients with sarcopenia hinders potential management options. To date, pharmacological interventions have shown limited efficacy in counteracting the effects of sarcopenia. Recent evidence has shown benefits with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; however, further randomized controlled trials are required. Resistance training remains the most effective intervention for sarcopenia; however, older people maybe unable or unwilling to embark on strenuous exercise training programs.
aged; muscle function; sarcopenia
Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with physical impairments and biologic changes in older adults. Weight loss combined with exercise may reduce inflammation and improve physical functioning in overweight, sedentary, older adults. This study tested whether a weight loss program combined with moderate exercise could improve physical function in obese, older adult women.
Participants (N = 34) were generally healthy, obese, older adult women (age range 55–79 years) with mild to moderate physical impairments (ie, functional limitations). Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups for 24 weeks: (i) weight loss plus exercise (WL+E; n = 17; mean age = 63.7 years [4.5]) or (ii) educational control (n = 17; mean age = 63.7 [6.7]). In the WL+E group, participants attended a group-based weight management session plus three supervised exercise sessions within their community each week. During exercise sessions, participants engaged in brisk walking and lower-body resistance training of moderate intensity. Participants in the educational control group attended monthly health education lectures on topics relevant to older adults. Outcomes were: (i) body weight, (ii) walking speed (assessed by 400-meter walk test), (iii) the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and (iv) knee extension isokinetic strength.
Participants randomized to the WL+E group lost significantly more weight than participants in the educational control group (5.95 [0.992] vs 0.23 [0.99] kg; P < 0.01). Additionally, the walking speed of participants in the WL+E group significantly increased compared with that of the control group (reduction in time on the 400-meter walk test = 44 seconds; P < 0.05). Scores on the SPPB improved in both the intervention and educational control groups from pre- to post-test (P < 0.05), with significant differences between groups (P = 0.02). Knee extension strength was maintained in both groups.
Our findings suggest that a lifestyle-based weight loss program consisting of moderate caloric restriction plus moderate exercise can produce significant weight loss and improve physical function while maintaining muscle strength in obese, older adult women with mild to moderate physical impairments.
obesity; weight loss; physical function; oxidative stress; inflammation; walking speed
Sarcopenia refers to age-related loss of muscle mass and function. Several age-related changes occur in skeletal muscle including a decrease in myofiber size and number and a diminished ability of satellite cells to activate and proliferate upon injury leading to impaired muscle remodeling. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sarcopenia are unknown, it is tempting to hypothesize that interplay between biological and environmental factors cooperate in a positive feedback cycle contributing to the progression of sarcopenia. Indeed many essential biological mechanisms such as apoptosis and autophagy and critical signaling pathways involved in skeletal muscle homeostasis are altered during aging and have been linked to loss of muscle mass. Moreover, the environmental effects of the sedentary lifestyle of older people further promote and contribute the loss of muscle mass. There are currently no widely accepted therapeutic strategies to halt or reverse the progression of sarcopenia. Caloric restriction has been shown to be beneficial as a sarcopenia and aging antagonist. Such results have made the search for caloric restriction mimetics (CRM) a priority. However given the mechanisms of action, some of the currently investigated CRMs may not combat sarcopenia. Thus, sarcopenia may represent a unique phenotypic feature of aging that requires specific and individually tailored therapeutic strategies.
sarcopenia; therapy; caloric restriction; caloric restriction mimetics; anti-aging; skeletal muscle
Human aging is associated with skeletal muscle atrophy and functional impairment (sarcopenia). Multiple lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction is a major contributor to sarcopenia. We evaluated whether healthy aging was associated with a transcriptional profile reflecting mitochondrial impairment and whether resistance exercise could reverse this signature to that approximating a younger physiological age. Skeletal muscle biopsies from healthy older (N = 25) and younger (N = 26) adult men and women were compared using gene expression profiling, and a subset of these were related to measurements of muscle strength. 14 of the older adults had muscle samples taken before and after a six-month resistance exercise-training program. Before exercise training, older adults were 59% weaker than younger, but after six months of training in older adults, strength improved significantly (P<0.001) such that they were only 38% lower than young adults. As a consequence of age, we found 596 genes differentially expressed using a false discovery rate cut-off of 5%. Prior to the exercise training, the transcriptome profile showed a dramatic enrichment of genes associated with mitochondrial function with age. However, following exercise training the transcriptional signature of aging was markedly reversed back to that of younger levels for most genes that were affected by both age and exercise. We conclude that healthy older adults show evidence of mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness, but that this can be partially reversed at the phenotypic level, and substantially reversed at the transcriptome level, following six months of resistance exercise training.
Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, is characterized by a deterioration of muscle quantity and quality leading to a gradual slowing of movement, a decline in strength and power, increased risk of fall-related injury, and, often, frailty. Since sarcopenia is largely attributed to various molecular mediators affecting fiber size, mitochondrial homeostasis, and apoptosis, the mechanisms responsible for these deleterious changes present numerous therapeutic targets for drug discovery. Resistance training combined with amino acid-containing supplements is often utilized to prevent age-related muscle wasting and weakness. In this review, we summarize more recent therapeutic strategies (myostatin or proteasome inhibition, supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or ursolic acid, etc.) for counteracting sarcopenia. Myostatin inhibitor is the most advanced research with a Phase I/II trial in muscular dystrophy but does not try the possibility for attenuating sarcopenia. EPA and ursolic acid seem to be effective as therapeutic agents, because they attenuate the degenerative symptoms of muscular dystrophy and cachexic muscle. The activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) in skeletal muscle by exercise and/or unknown supplementation would be an intriguing approach to attenuating sarcopenia. In contrast, muscle loss with age may not be influenced positively by treatment with a proteasome inhibitor or antioxidant.
Comprehensive lifestyle interventions are effective in preventing diabetes and restoring glucose regulation; however, the key stimulus for change has not been identified and effects in older individuals are not established. The aim of the study was to investigate the independent and combined effects of dietary weight-loss and exercise on insulin sensitivity and restoration of normal fasting glucose in mid-aged and older women.
Four-arm RCT, conducted between 2005 and 2009 and data analyzed in 2010.
439 inactive, overweight/obese postmenopausal women. Interventions: Women were assigned to: dietary weight loss (n=118), exercise (n=117), exercise+diet (n=117), or control (n=87). The diet intervention was a group-based reduced-calorie program with a 10% weight-loss goal. The exercise intervention was 45 min/day, 5 days/week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity.
Main outcome measures
12-month change in serum insulin, C-peptide, fasting glucose, and whole body insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).
A significant improvement in HOMA-IR was detected in the diet (−24%, p<0.001) and exercise+ diet (−26%, p<0.001) groups, but not in the exercise (−9%, p=0.22) group compared to controls (−2%); these effects were similar in middle-aged (50–60 years) and older women (aged 60–75 years). Among those with impaired fasting glucose (5.6–6.9 mmol/L) at baseline (n=143; 33%), the odds (95% CI) of regressing to normal fasting glucose after adjusting for weight loss and baseline levels were: 2.5 (0.8, 8.4), 2.76 (0.8, 10.0), and 3.1 (1.0, 9.9) in the diet, exercise+diet, and exercise group, respectively, compared to controls.
Dietary weight loss, with or without exercise, significantly improved insulin resistance. Older women derived as much benefit as did the younger postmenopausal women.
The age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that is associated with sarcopenia can result in ultimate consequences such as decreased quality of life. The causes of sarcopenia are multifactorial and include environmental and biological factors. The purpose of this review is to synthesize what the literature reveals in regards to the cellular regulation of sarcopenia, including impaired muscle regenerative capacity in the aged, and to discuss if physiological stimuli have the potential to slow the loss of myogenic potential that is associated with sarcopenia. In addition, this review article will discuss the effect of aging on Notch and Wnt signaling, and whether physiological stimuli have the ability to restore Notch and Wnt signaling resulting in rejuvenated aged muscle repair. The intention of this summary is to bring awareness to the benefits of consistent physiological stimulus (exercise) to combating sarcopenia as well as proclaiming the usefulness of contraction-induced injury models to studying the effects of local and systemic influences on aged myogenic capability.
sarcopenia; physiological stimuli
Sarcopenia, the age associated loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, has considerable societal consequences for the development of frailty, disability and health care planning. A group of geriatricians and scientists from academia and industry met in Rome, Italy on November 18, 2009 to arrive at a consensus definition of sarcopenia. The current consensus definition was approved unanimously by the meeting participants and is as follows: Sarcopenia is defined as the age-associated loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. The causes of sarcopenia are multi-factorial and can include disuse, altered endocrine function, chronic diseases, inflammation, insulin resistance, and nutritional deficiencies. While cachexia may be a component of sarcopenia, the two conditions are not the same. The diagnosis of sarcopenia should be considered in all older patients who present with observed declines in physical function, strength, or overall health. Sarcopenia should specifically be considered in patients who are bedridden, cannot independently rise from a chair, or who have a measured gait speed less that 1.0 m·s−1. Patients who meet these criteria should further undergo body composition assessment using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) with sarcopenia being defined using currently validated definitions. A diagnosis of sarcopenia is consistent with a gait speed of less than 1 m·s−1 and an objectively measured low muscle mass (eg: appendicular mass relative to ht2 that is ≤ 7.23 kg/ m2 in men ≤ 5.67 kg/ m2 in men). Sarcopenia is a highly prevalent condition in older persons that leads to disability, hospitalization and death.
muscle; aging; body composition; function; disability
In normal aging, changes in the body composition occur that result in a shift toward decreased muscle mass and increased fat mass. The loss of muscle mass that occurs with aging is termed sarcopenia and is an important cause of frailty, disability, and loss of independence in older adults. Age-related changes in the body composition as well as the increased prevalence of obesity determine a combination of excess weight and reduced muscle mass or strength, recently defined as sarcopenic obesity. Weight gain increases total/abdominal fat, which, in turn, elicits inflammation and fatty infiltration in muscle. Sarcopenic obesity appears to be linked with the upregulation of TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6, leptin, and myostatin and the downregulation of adiponectin and IL-15. Multiple combined exercise and mild caloric restriction markedly attenuate the symptoms of sarcopenic obesity. Intriguingly, the inhibition of myostatin induced by gene manipulation or neutralizing antibody ameliorates sarcopenic obesity via increased skeletal muscle mass and improved glucose homeostasis. In this review, we describe the possible influence of endocrinal changes with age on sarcopenic obesity.
The role of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress has been extensively characterized in the aetiology of sarcopenia (aging-associated loss of muscle mass) and muscle wasting as a result of muscle disuse. What remains less clear is whether the decline in skeletal muscle mitochondrial oxidative capacity is purely a function of the aging process or if the sedentary lifestyle of older adult subjects has confounded previous reports. The objective of the present study was to investigate if a recreationally active lifestyle in older adults can conserve skeletal muscle strength and functionality, chronic systemic inflammation, mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative capacity, and cellular antioxidant capacity. To that end, muscle biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis of young and age-matched recreationally active older and sedentary older men and women (N = 10/group; ♀ = ♂). We show that a physically active lifestyle is associated with the partial compensatory preservation of mitochondrial biogenesis, and cellular oxidative and antioxidant capacity in skeletal muscle of older adults. Conversely a sedentary lifestyle, associated with osteoarthritis-mediated physical inactivity, is associated with reduced mitochondrial function, dysregulation of cellular redox status and chronic systemic inflammation that renders the skeletal muscle intracellular environment prone to reactive oxygen species-mediated toxicity. We propose that an active lifestyle is an important determinant of quality of life and molecular progression of aging in skeletal muscle of the elderly, and is a viable therapy for attenuating and/or reversing skeletal muscle strength declines and mitochondrial abnormalities associated with aging.
Although lifestyle interventions targeting multiple lifestyle behaviors are more effective in preventing unhealthy weight gain and chronic diseases than intervening on a single behavior, few studies have compared individual and combined effects of diet and/or exercise interventions on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). In addition, the mechanisms of how these lifestyle interventions affect HRQOL are unknown. The primary aim of this study was to examine the individual and combined effects of dietary weight loss and/or exercise interventions on HRQOL and psychosocial factors (depression, anxiety, stress, social support). The secondary aim was to investigate predictors of changes in HRQOL.
This study was a randomized controlled trial. Overweight/obese postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to 12 months of dietary weight loss (n = 118), moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise (225 minutes/week, n = 117), combined diet and exercise (n = 117), or control (n = 87). Demographic, health and anthropometric information, aerobic fitness, HRQOL (SF-36), stress (Perceived Stress Scale), depression [Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI)-18], anxiety (BSI-18) and social support (Medical Outcome Study Social Support Survey) were assessed at baseline and 12 months. The 12-month changes in HRQOL and psychosocial factors were compared using analysis of covariance, adjusting for baseline scores. Multiple regression was used to assess predictors of changes in HRQOL.
Twelve-month changes in HRQOL and psychosocial factors differed by intervention group. The combined diet + exercise group improved 4 aspects of HRQOL (physical functioning, role-physical, vitality, and mental health), and stress (p ≤ 0.01 vs. controls). The diet group increased vitality score (p < 0.01 vs. control), while HRQOL did not change differently in the exercise group compared with controls. However, regardless of intervention group, weight loss predicted increased physical functioning, role-physical, vitality, and mental health, while increased aerobic fitness predicted improved physical functioning. Positive changes in depression, stress, and social support were independently associated with increased HRQOL, after adjusting for changes in weight and aerobic fitness.
A combined diet and exercise intervention has positive effects on HRQOL and psychological health, which may be greater than that from exercise or diet alone. Improvements in weight, aerobic fitness and psychosocial factors may mediate intervention effects on HRQOL.
health-related quality of life; exercise; dietary weight loss; postmenopausal women
Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal muscle, is characterized by a deterioration of muscle quantity and quality leading to a gradual slowing of movement, a decline in strength and power, and an increased risk of fall-related injuries. Since sarcopenia is largely attributed to various molecular mediators affecting fiber size, mitochondrial homeostasis, and apoptosis, numerous targets exist for drug discovery. In this paper, we summarize the current understanding of the endocrine contribution to sarcopenia and provide an update on hormonal intervention to try to improve endocrine defects. Myostatin inhibition seems to be the most interesting strategy for attenuating sarcopenia other than resistance training with amino acid supplementation. Testosterone supplementation in large amounts and at low frequency improves muscle defects with aging but has several side effects. Although IGF-I is a potent regulator of muscle mass, its therapeutic use has not had a positive effect probably due to local IGF-I resistance. Treatment with ghrelin may ameliorate the muscle atrophy elicited by age-dependent decreases in growth hormone. Ghrelin is an interesting candidate because it is orally active, avoiding the need for injections. A more comprehensive knowledge of vitamin-D-related mechanisms is needed to utilize this nutrient to prevent sarcopenia.
Aging is associated with a loss of muscle mass and increased body fat. The effects of diet-induced weight loss on muscle mass in older adults are not clear.
This study examined the effects of diet-induced weight loss, alone and in combination with moderate aerobic exercise, on skeletal muscle mass in older adults.
Twenty-nine overweight to obese (body mass index = 31.8 ± 3.3 kg/m2) older (67.2 ± 4.2 years) men (n = 13) and women (n = 16) completed a 4-month intervention consisting of diet-induced weight loss alone (WL; n = 11) or with exercise (WL/EX; n = 18). The WL intervention consisted of a low-fat, 500–1,000 kcal/d caloric restriction. The WL/EX intervention included the WL intervention with the addition of aerobic exercise, moderate-intensity walking, three to five times per week for 35–45 minutes per session. Whole-body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, thigh computed tomography (CT), and percutaneous muscle biopsy were performed to assess changes in skeletal muscle mass at the whole-body, regional, and cellular level, respectively.
Mixed analysis of variance demonstrated that both groups had similar decreases in bodyweight (WL, −9.2% ± 1.0%; WL/EX, −9.1% ± 1.0%) and whole-body fat mass (WL, −16.5%, WL/EX, −20.7%). However, whole-body fat-free mass decreased significantly (p < .05) in WL (−4.3% ± 1.2%) but not in WL/EX (−1.1% ± 1.0%). Thigh muscle cross-sectional area by CT decreased in both groups (WL, −5.2% ± 1.1%; WL/EX, −3.0% ± 1.0%) and was not statistically different between groups. Type I muscle fiber area decreased in WL (−19.2% ± 7.9%, p = .01) but remained unchanged in WL/EX (3.4% ± 7.5%). Similar patterns were observed in type II fibers (WL, −16.6% ± 4.0%; WL/EX, −0.2% ± 6.5%).
Diet-induced weight loss significantly decreased muscle mass in older adults. However, the addition of moderate aerobic exercise to intentional weight loss attenuated the loss of muscle mass.
Weight loss; Aerobic exercise; Obese; Muscle
Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass with normal aging, devastates quality of life and related healthcare expenditures are enormous. The prevention or attenuation of sarcopenia would be an important medical advance. Dietary restriction (DR) is the only dietary intervention that consistently extends median and maximum lifespan, as well as healthspan in rodents. Evidence suggests that DR will have a similar effect in primates. Furthermore, DR opposes sarcopenia in rodents. We tested the hypothesis that DR will reduce age-related sarcopenia in a nonhuman primate. Thirty adult male rhesus monkeys, half fed a normal calorie intake and half reduced by 30% in caloric intake, were examined over 17 years for changes in DXA-estimated skeletal muscle mass. Body weight adjusted skeletal muscle mass declined somewhat in both groups but was far more rapid in the control group. We have shown that moderate, adult-onset DR can attenuate sarcopenia in a nonhuman primate model.
The term sarcopenia describes the loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function in old age. As the world population continues to grow older, more attention is given to the phenomena of sarcopenia and the search for strategies of prevention and treatment. The progression of sarcopenia is affected by age-related physiological and systemic changes in the body, including alterations in skeletal muscle tissue, hormonal changes, increased inflammatory activities, and oxidative stress. Sarcopenia progression is also affected by lifestyle factors which are far more controllable. These factors include various aspects of nutrition, physical activity, exercise, alcohol intake, and tobacco use. Raising the public awareness regarding the impact of these factors, as causes of sarcopenia and potential strategies of prevention and treatment, is of great importance. In this review we aim to describe various lifestyle factors that affect the etiology, prevention, and treatment of sarcopenia.
Alcohol intake; cigarette smoking; exercise; nutrition; physical activity; sarcopenia
Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, is a significant public health concern that continues to grow in relevance as the population ages. Certain conditions have the strong potential to coincide with sarcopenia to accelerate the progression of muscle atrophy in older adults. Among these conditions are co-morbid diseases common to older individuals such as cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and peripheral artery disease. Furthermore, behaviors such as poor nutrition and physical inactivity are well-known to contribute to sarcopenia development. However, we argue that these behaviors are not inherent to the development of sarcopenia but rather accelerate its progression. In the present review, we discuss how these factors affect systemic and cellular mechanisms that contribute to skeletal muscle atrophy. In addition, we describe gaps in the literature concerning the role of these factors in accelerating sarcopenia progression. Elucidating biochemical pathways related to accelerated muscle atrophy may allow for improved discovery of therapeutic treatments related to sarcopenia.
Aging; Proteolysis; Satellite Cells; HIV; COPD; Disability
It has been suggested that exercise training results in compensatory mechanisms that attenuate weight loss. However, this has only been examined with large doses of exercise. The goal of this analysis was to examine actual weight loss compared to predicted weight loss (compensation) across different doses of exercise in a controlled trial of sedentary, overweight or obese postmenopausal women (n = 411).
Participants were randomized to a non-exercise control (n = 94) or 1 of 3 exercise groups; exercise energy expenditure of 4 (n = 139), 8 (n = 85), or 12 (n = 93) kcal/kg/week (KKW). Training intensity was set at the heart rate associated with 50% of each woman's peak VO2 and the intervention period was 6 months. All exercise was supervised. The main outcomes were actual weight loss, predicted weight loss (exercise energy expenditure/ 7700 kcal per kg), compensation (actual minus predicted weight loss) and waist circumference. The study sample had a mean (SD) age 57.2 (6.3) years, BMI of 31.7 (3.8) kg/m2, and was 63.5% Caucasian. The adherence to the intervention was >99% in all exercise groups. The mean (95% CI) weight loss in the 4, 8 and 12 KKW groups was −1.4 (−2.0, −0.8), −2.1 (−2.9, −1.4) and −1.5 (−2.2, −0.8) kg, respectively. In the 4 and 8 KKW groups the actual weight loss closely matched the predicted weight loss of −1.0 and −2.0 kg, respectively, resulting in no significant compensation. In the 12 KKW group the actual weight loss was less than the predicted weight loss (−2.7 kg) resulting in 1.2 (0.5, 1.9) kg of compensation (P<0.05 compared to 4 and 8 KKW groups). All exercise groups had a significant reduction in waist circumference which was independent of changes in weight.
In this study of previously sedentary, overweight or obese, postmenopausal women we observed no difference in the actual and predicted weight loss with 4 and 8 KKW of exercise (72 and 136 minutes respectively), while the 12 KKW (194 minutes) produced only about half of the predicted weight loss. However, all exercise groups had a significant reduction in waist circumference which was independent of changes in weight.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT 00011193
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations lead to decrements in mitochondrial function and accelerated rates of these mutations has been linked to skeletal muscle loss (sarcopenia). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of mtDNA mutations on mitochondrial quality control processes in skeletal muscle from animals (young; 3–6 months and older; 8–15 months) expressing a proofreading-deficient version of mtDNA polymerase gamma (PolG). This progeroid aging model exhibits elevated mtDNA mutation rates, mitochondrial dysfunction, and a premature aging phenotype that includes sarcopenia. We found increased expression of the mitochondrial biogenesis regulator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) and its target proteins, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) in PolG animals compared to wild-type (WT) (P<0.05). Muscle from older PolG animals displayed higher mitochondrial fission protein 1 (Fis1) concurrent with greater induction of autophagy, as indicated by changes in Atg5 and p62 protein content (P<0.05). Additionally, levels of the Tom22 import protein were higher in PolG animals when compared to WT (P<0.05). In contrast, muscle from normally-aged animals exhibited a distinctly different expression profile compared to PolG animals. Older WT animals appeared to have higher fusion (greater Mfn1/Mfn2, and lower Fis1) and lower autophagy (Beclin-1 and p62) compared to young WT suggesting that autophagy is impaired in aging muscle. In conclusion, muscle from mtDNA mutator mice display higher mitochondrial fission and autophagy levels that likely contribute to the sarcopenic phenotype observed in premature aging and this differs from the response observed in normally-aged muscle.
Weight loss is challenging and maintenance of weight loss is problematic among midlife and older rural women. Finding effective interventions using innovative delivery methods that can reach underserved and vulnerable populations of overweight and obese rural women is a public health challenge.
This Women Weigh-In for Wellness (The WWW study) randomized-controlled trial is designed to compare the effectiveness of theory-based behavior-change interventions using (1) website only, (2) website with peer-led support, or (3) website with professional email-counseling to facilitate initial weight loss (baseline to 6 months), guided continuing weight loss and maintenance (7-18 months) and self-directed weight maintenance (19-30 months) among rural women ages 45-69 with a BMI of 28-45. Recruitment efforts using local media will target 306 rural women who live within driving distance of a community college site where assessments will be conducted at baseline, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30 months by research nurses blinded to group assignments. Primary outcomes include changes in body weight, % weight loss, and eating and activity behavioral and biomarkers from baseline to each subsequent assessment. Secondary outcomes will be percentage of women achieving at least 5% and 10% weight loss without regain from baseline to 6, 18, and 30 months and achieving healthy eating and activity targets. Data analysis will use generalized estimating equations to analyze average change across groups and group differences in proportion of participants achieving target weight loss levels.
The Women Weigh-In for Wellness study compares innovative web-based alternatives for providing lifestyle behavior-change interventions for promoting weight loss and weight maintenance among rural women. If effective, such interventions would offer potential for reducing overweight and obesity among a vulnerable, hard-to-reach, population of rural women.
Advancing age and adiposity contribute to musculoskeletal degenerative diseases and the development of sarcopenic obesity. The etiology of muscle loss is multifactorial, and includes inflammation, oxidative stress and hormonal changes, and is worsened by activity avoidance due to fear of pain. The risk for mobility disability and functional impairment rises with severity of obesity in the older adult. Performance measures of walking distance, walking speed, chair rise, stair climb, body transfers and ability to navigate obstacles on a course are adversely affected in this population, and this reflects decline in daily physical functioning. Exercise training is an ideal intervention to counteract the effects of aging and obesity. The 18 randomized controlled trials of exercise studies with or without diet components reviewed here indicate that 3–18 month programs that included aerobic and strengthening exercise (2–3 days per week) with caloric restriction (typically 750 kcal deficit/day), induced the greatest change in functional performance measures compared with exercise or diet alone. Importantly, resistance exercise attenuates muscle mass loss with the interventions. These interventions can also combat factors that invoke sarcopenia, including inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Therefore, regular multimodal exercise coupled with diet appears to be very effective for counteracting sarocpenic obesity and improving mobility and function in the older, obese adult.
Obesity; Aging; Physical function; Mobility; Strength
Obesity is the most modifiable risk factor, and dietary induced weight loss potentially the best nonpharmacologic intervention to prevent or to slow osteoarthritis (OA) disease progression. We are currently conducting a study to test the hypothesis that intensive weight loss will reduce inflammation and joint loads sufficiently to alter disease progression, either with or without exercise. This article describes the intervention, the empirical evidence to support it, and test-retest reliability data.
This is a prospective, single-blind, randomized controlled trial. The study population consists of 450 overweight and obese (BMI = 27–40.5 kg/m2) older (age ≥ 55 yrs) adults with tibiofemoral osteoarthritis. Participants are randomized to one of three 18-month interventions: intensive dietary restriction-plus-exercise; exercise-only; or intensive dietary restriction-only. The primary aims are to compare the effects of these interventions on inflammatory biomarkers and knee joint loads. Secondary aims will examine the effects of these interventions on function, pain, and mobility; the dose response to weight loss on disease progression; if inflammatory biomarkers and knee joint loads are mediators of the interventions; and the association between quadriceps strength and disease progression.
Test-retest reliability results indicated that the ICCs for knee joint load variables were excellent, ranging from 0.86 – 0.98. Knee flexion/extension moments were most affected by BMI, with lower reliability with the highest tertile of BMI. The reliability of the semi-quantitative scoring of the knee joint using MRI exceeded previously reported results, ranging from a low of 0.66 for synovitis to a high of 0.99 for bone marrow lesion size.
The IDEA trial has the potential to enhance our understanding of the OA disease process, refine weight loss and exercise recommendations in this prevalent disease, and reduce the burden of disability.
Increased inflammation and weight loss are associated with a reduction in bone mineral density (BMD). Aerobic exercise may minimize the loss of bone and weight loss may contribute to a decrease in cytokines. We tested the hypothesis that aerobic exercise in combination with a weight loss program would decrease circulating concentrations of inflammatory markers, thus mediating changes in BMD. This was a nonrandomized controlled trial. Eighty-six overweight and obese postmenopausal women (50–70 years of age; BMI, 25–40 kg/m2) participated in a weight loss (WL; n = 40) or weight loss plus walking (WL + AEX; n = 46) program. Outcome measures included BMD and bone mineral content of the femoral neck and lumbar spine measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, soluble receptors of IL-6, and TNF-α (sTNFR1 and sTNFR2; receptors in a subset of the population), VO2 max, fat mass, and lean mass. Weight decreased in the WL (p < 0.001) and WL + AEX (p < 0.001) groups. VO2 max increased (p < 0.001) after WL + AEX. There was a 2% increase in femoral neck BMD in the WL + AEX group (p = 0.001), which was significantly different from the WL group. The change in sTNFR1 was significantly associated with the change in femoral neck BMD (p < 0.05). The change in VO2 max was an independent predictor of the change in femoral neck BMD. Our findings suggest that the addition of aerobic exercise is recommended to decrease inflammation and increase BMD during weight loss in overweight postmenopausal women.
Aging; Cytokines; Inflammation; Exercise; Weight loss
We evaluated the effect of weight loss on urinary incontinence (UI) in overweight and obese women.
Materials and Methods
A randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted among overweight and obese women experiencing at least 4 UI episodes per week. Women were randomly assigned to a 3-month liquid diet weight reduction program (24 in the immediate intervention group) or a wait-list delayed intervention group (24 in the wait-list control group). Participants in the wait-list control group began the weight reduction program in month 3 of the study. All women were followed for 6 months after completing the weight reduction program. Wilcoxon tests were used to compare intergroup differences in change in weekly UI episodes and quality of life scores.
A total of 48 women were randomized and 40 were assessed 3 months after randomization. Median (with 25% to 75% interquartile range [IQR]) baseline age was 52 years (IQR 47 to 59), weight was 97 kg (IQR 87 to 106) and UI episodes were 21 weekly (IQR 11 to 33). Women in the immediate intervention group had a 16 kg (IQR 9 to 20) weight reduction compared with 0 kg (IQR −2 to 2) in the wait-list control group (p <0.0001). The immediate intervention group experienced a 60% reduction (IQR 30% to 89%) in weekly UI episodes compared with 15% (IQR −9% to 25%) in the wait-list control group (p <0.0005) and had greater improvement in quality of life scores. Stress (p =0.003) and urge (p =0.03) incontinent episodes decreased in the immediate intervention vs wait-list control group. Following the weight reduction program the wait-list control group experienced a similar median reduction in weekly UI episodes (71%). Among all 40 women mean weekly UI episodes decreased 54% (95% CI 40% to 69%) after weight reduction and the improvement was maintained for 6 months.
Weight reduction is an effective treatment for overweight and obese women with UI. Weight loss of 5% to 10% has an efficacy similar to that of other nonsurgical treatments and should be considered a first line therapy for incontinence.
urinary incontinence; obesity; diet therapy; weight loss; female
Accelerated apoptosis in skeletal muscle is increasingly recognized as a potential mechanism contributing to the development of sarcopenia of aging and disuse muscle atrophy. Given their central role in the regulation of apoptosis, mitochondria are regarded as key players in the pathogenesis of myocyte loss during aging and other atrophying conditions. Oxidative damage to mitochondrial constituents, impaired respiration and altered mitochondrial turnover have been proposed as potential triggering events for mitochondrial apoptotic signaling. In addition, iron accumulation within mitochondria may enhance the susceptibility to apoptosis during the development of sarcopenia and possibly acute muscle atrophy, likely through exacerbation of oxidative stress. Mitochondria can induce myocyte apoptosis via both caspase-dependent and independent pathways, although the apoptogenic mediators involved may be different depending on age, muscle type and specific atrophying conditions. Despite the considerable advances made, additional research is necessary to establish a definite causal link between apoptotic signaling and the development of sarcopenia and acute atrophy. Furthermore, a translational effort is required to determine the role played by apoptosis in the pathogenesis of sarcopenia and disuse-induced muscle loss in human subjects.
Mitochondria; Iron; Sarcopenia; Muscle atrophy; Apoptosis; Caspases; Endonuclease G; Apoptosis-inducing factor
Lifestyle interventions for weight loss are the cornerstone of obesity therapy, yet their optimal design is debated. This is particularly true for postmenopausal women; a population with a high prevalence of obesity yet towards whom fewer studies are targeted. We conducted a year-long, 4-arm randomized trial among 439 overweight-to-obese postmenopausal sedentary women to determine the effects of a calorie-reduced, low-fat diet (D), a moderate-intensity, facility-based aerobic exercise program (E), or the combination of both interventions (D+E), vs. a no-lifestyle-change control (C) on change in body weight and composition. The group-based dietary intervention had a weight-reduction goal of ≥10%, and the exercise intervention consisted of a gradual escalation to 45 min aerobic exercise 5 d/wk. Participants were predominantly non-Hispanic Whites (85%) with a mean age of 58.0±5.0 years, a mean BMI of 30.9±4.0 kg/m2 and an average of 47.8±4.4% body fat. Baseline and 12-month weight and adiposity measures were obtained by staff blinded to participants’ intervention assignment. 399 women completed the trial (91% retention). Using an intention-to-treat analysis, average weight loss at 12 months was −8.5% for the D group (P<0.0001 vs. C), −2.4% for the E group (P=0.03 vs. C), and −10.8% for the D+E group (P<0.0001 vs. C), while the C group experienced a non-significant −0.8% decrease. BMI, waist circumference, and % body fat were also similarly reduced. Among postmenopausal women, lifestyle change involving diet, exercise, or both combined over 1 year improves body weight and adiposity, with the greatest change arising from the combined intervention.
Body weight; body composition; weight-reducing diet; exercise intervention; women