A new UCLA research study suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. The findings show that overall body composition- and not the most commonly used body mass index (BMI)-is a better predictor of all cause mortality.
The researchers focused on a group of 3659 individuals that included men(55 and older) and women (65 and older) at the time of the survey( between 1988 and 1994). Then they found out how many of those individuals had died from natural causes based on a follow up survey in 2004. They focused on how muscle mass index affected the risk of death. They discovered that all- cause mortality was significantly lower in those individuals with the greater muscle mass index.
“In other words the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death.” said Dr. Arun Kalamangla, an associate professor in the geriatrics division at the Geffen School and the study’s co-author.
- Preethi Srikanthan, Arun S. Karlamangla. Muscle Mass Index as a Predictor of Longevity in Older-Adults. The American Journal of Medicine, 2014; DOI:10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.02.007