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Korean J Obes 2012; 21(4): 220-227

Published online December 30, 2012

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Age- and Gender-related Differences of Muscle Mass in Korean

Hyunsoo kim*

Department of Sports Science, Seoul National University of Science and Technology

Received: August 13, 2012; Reviewed : September 18, 2012; Accepted: October 19, 2012

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of age and gender on muscle mass (MM) and its distribution in a large and heterogeneous sample of Korean population.
Methods: Subjects were 5,781 healthy Korean adults (2,512 men and 3,269 women) aged 20 to 88 years. The present study used dual X-ray energy absorptiometry to estimate the MM of arms, legs, trunk and whole body.
Results: Men had significantly (P < 0.001) greater MM in comparison to women in both absolute (48.2 vs. 33.4 kg) and relative (70.2 vs. 58.9%) terms to body mass. The gender differences were greater in the upper body (9.1 kg) than in the lower body (5.6 kg) (P < 0.001). There was a curvilinear relationship between age and MM for both men and women. The slope of the regression line between age and MM was greater in men than in women throughout all parts of the body. The changes in MM with advancing age were different for each part of the body. The decrease in leg MM, beginning after the second (women: fourth) decade, was the greatest reduction out of all parts of the body with advancing age.
Conclusion: Aging is associated with a decrease in MM that is explained by a decrease in lower extremity muscle occurring after the sixth decade for both men and women. This study may be useful when comparing with populations of different ethnic backgrounds and studying ill subjects.

Keywords: Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), Muscle mass, Aging and sex, Korean

Fig. 1. A relationship between age and upper extremity MM in men and women. Solid lines, regression lines. Men: upper extremity MM = -0.001 (age2) + 0.036 (age) + 5.892; R2 = 0.215 (P < 0.001). Women: upper extremity MM = 0.000 (age2) + 0.039 (age) + 2.64, R2 = 0.036 (P < 0.001).
Fig. 2. A relationship between age and lower extremity MM in men and women. Men: lower extremity MM = -0.001 (age2) -0.024(age)+ 19.817; R2 = 0.238 (P < 0.001). Women: lower extremity MM = -0.001 (age2) + 0.067 (age) + 10.786; R2 = 0.099 (P < 0.001).
Fig. 3. A relationship between age and trunk MM in men and women. Men: trunk MM = -0.002 (age2) + 0.12 (age) + 24.22; R2 = 0.139 (P < 0.001). Women: trunk MM = -0.002 (age2) + 0.185 (age) + 14.68. R2 = 0.014 (P < 0.001).
Fig. 4. A relationship between age and total body MM in men and women. Men: total body MM = -0.003 (age2) -0.14 (age) + 49.93; R2 = 0.200 (P < 0.001). Women: total body MM = -0.003 (age2) -0.291 (age) + 28.10; R2 = 0.071(P < 0.001).
Fig. 5. Muscle mass (MM) and distribution in men and women. Values are means; nos. within bars are percentages of total body muscle upper and lower extremity, and trunk. In comparison to women, men have significantly greater (P < 0.001) total, trunk, and upper extremity MM.

Subjects characteristics



Comparison of 20 age group and 80 age group in muscle mass distribution


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