A study from the Mayo Clinic has found skeletal muscle mass affects bone architecture and bone strength in distinctly different ways between men and women.
“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the highly integrated nature of skeletal muscle and bone, and it also provides new insights into potential biomarkers that reflect the health of the musculoskeletal system,” lead author Nathan LeBrasseur, PhD, stated in a Mayo Clinic release.
To determine the association between skeletal muscle mass and bone architecture, the authors looked at appendicular skeletal muscle mass relative to height (relative ASM) as compared to various bone parameters assessed via CT in a cohort of 272 women and 317 men. Patients in the study ranged in age from 20 years to 97 years. The study was published in the Journal of Bone & Mineral Research.
According to the study abstract, the authors found relative ASM to be associated with cortical thickness in the femoral neck, lumbar spine, radius and tibia for women. Trabecular volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) was also found to be associated with relative ASM, as were trabecular number, thickness, separation and bone volume to tissue volume.
In men, the abstract noted, relative ASM was associated with cortical thickness at all sites, with the association between relative ASM and trabecular vBMD at the spine being lost after adjusting for age. Trabecular vBMD was associated with relative ASM at the femoral neck, however, with trabecular number and separation being associated with relative ASM at the radius.
According to the release, the authors also found in their investigation the higher the level of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2, the lower the relative muscle mass overall.
“As we develop a better understanding of the complex relationship between muscle and bone, we may find new strategies for early identification and treatment of muscle loss and bone density loss,” LeBrasseur stated in the release.
- LeBrasseur NK, Achenbach SJ, Melton J, et al. Skeletal muscle mass is associated with bone geometry and microstructure and serum IGFBP-2 levels in adult men and women. J Bone Miner Res. 2012. doi:10.1002/jbmr.1666