A recent Medscape article draws attention to research showing that the loss of skeletal muscle mass in men with osteopenia or osteoporosis increases risk of fracture by roughly 3 times over men who have these conditions but less muscle loss. Researchers believe the results point to the importance of focusing not just on bones but on muscle function as well.
Age-related loss of muscle, called sarcopenia, was found to be an independent risk factor for nonspine fractures, with normal men showing a risk of about 10 per 1,000, and men with sarcopenia showing a risk of about 15.7 per 1,000. Among men with both sarcopenia and osteopenia/osteoporosis, risk rose to 30.5 per 1,000.
Sarcopenia can be managed effectively through resistance exercises and dietary changes. APTA offers a consumer guide to sarcopenia and frailty at MoveForwardPT.com and features courses on frailty and mobility in the APTA Leaning Center (search "frailty" and "mobility").
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