Strong Relation Between Muscle Mass Determined by D3-creatine Dilution, Physical Performance, and Incidence of Falls and Mobility Limitations in a Prospective Cohort of Older Men

Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Direct assessment of skeletal muscle mass in older adults is clinically challenging. Relationships between lean mass and late-life outcomes have been inconsistent. The D3-creatine dilution method provides a direct assessment of muscle mass. METHODS: Muscle mass was assessed by D3-creatine (D3Cr) dilution in 1,382 men (mean age, 84.2 years). Participants completed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB); usual walking speed (6 m); and dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) lean mass. Men self-reported mobility limitations (difficulty walking 2-3 blocks or climbing 10 steps); recurrent falls (2+); and serious injurious falls in the subsequent year. Across quartiles of D3Cr muscle mass/body mass, multivariate linear models calculated means for SPPB and gait speed; multivariate logistic models calculated odds ratios for incident mobility limitations or falls. RESULTS: Compared to men in the highest quartile, those in the lowest quartile of D3Cr muscle mass/body mass had slower gait speed (Q1: 1.04 vs Q4: 1.17 m/s); lower SPPB (Q1: 8.4 vs Q4: 10.4 points); greater likelihood of incident serious injurious falls (odds ratio [OR] Q1 vs Q4: 2.49, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.37, 4.54); prevalent mobility limitation (OR Q1 vs Q4,: 6.1, 95% CI: 3.7, 10.3) and incident mobility limitation (OR Q1 vs Q4: 2.15 95% CI: 1.42, 3.26); p for trend < .001 for all. Results for incident recurrent falls were in the similar direction (p = .156). DXA lean mass had weaker associations with the outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike DXA lean mass, low D3Cr muscle mass/body mass is strongly related to physical performance, mobility, and incident injurious falls in older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-852
Number of pages9
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 16 2019



  • Falls
  • Functional performance
  • Muscle
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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