ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 P1028 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.P1028

Impact of hormonal factors in the genesis of sarcopenia

Mário Rui Mascarenhas1,2,3,4, Ana Paula Barbosa1,2,3,4, Indira Fortes4, Joana Ferreira2 & Manuel Bicho2


1Clínica Universitária de Endocrinologia, FMUL, Lisbon, Portugal; 2Instituto de Saúde Ambiental (Centro de Endocrinologia e Metabolismo) da Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; 3Osteoporosis Unit, CEDML, Lisbon, Portugal; 4Serviço de Endocrinologia, Diabetes e Metabolismo, Hospital Universitário Santa Maria, CHLN-EPE, Lisbon, Portugal.


The European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) defined in 2018 ‘sarcopenia as muscle disease (muscle failure), with low muscle strength overtaking the role of low muscle mass as a principal determinant’; sarcopenia increases risk of falls and fractures, impairs ability to perform activities of daily living, leads to mobility disorders and low quality of life and death. The diagnosis is confirmed by low muscle quantity or quality. The muscle quantity may depend on several hormonal factors that may decline with ageing. The association of sarcopenia with osteoporosis may increase the risk of osteoporotic fractures due to the increased risk of falls.

Aim: To evaluate the influence of some endocrine factors on the variability of skeletal muscle mass in elderly people.

Material and methods: In 469 women [mean age(±S.D.)=72.8(±5.5) years, mean postmenopausal years: 23.5] and in 249 men, mean age 72.7(±5.7) years, total fat (TFM) and lean body (TLM) masses and BMD at several skeletal sites were measured by DXA. A skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was also calculated. Fasting blood collection was performed for measurement of total and fere testosterone (men only), IGF-1 (ng/ml) and 25 (OH) D (ng/ml). Statistical analysis was performed using adequate tests and statistical significance was considered for P<0.05.

Results: The correlations between the SMI and hormone and IGF-1 blood levels are shown in Table 1.

Correlations between SMI and total testosterone (CC=0.2437, P=0.0002) and free testosterone (CC=0.3114, P=0.0002) were also detected.

Table 1
Measurements vs. SMIIGF-1 ng/ml25(OH)D ng/ml
Women CC0.13570.3564*
P0.01530.0000
Men CC0.4407*0.1874
P0.00000.0412
*adjusted for total body fat mass

Conclusions: These data show that in elderly people (both sexes) the skeletal muscle mass may be influenced and depends of endocrine factors such as somatotrophin, vitamin D and testosterone (in men). The progressive decrease of these hormones may increase the risks of sarcopenia development and of falls, adverse effects of the fragility syndrome, low quality of life due to loss of independence and death.

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