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Seniors' Health Channel
Reported March 17, 2014

More Muscle Means Longer Life?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Muscle mass is a better predictor of early death than body mass index (BMI) in older adults, according to a new study from UCLA.

Researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, performed between 1988 and 1994, and a follow up study performed in 2004. When researchers examined the data from 3,659 older adults, they found adults with more muscle mass had significantly lower all-cause mortality rates than those who had less. Muscle mass is a key part of what researchers call body composition, which many suggest is a better health predictor than BMI.

"As there is no gold-standard measure of body composition, several studies have addressed this question using different measurement techniques and have obtained different results," study lead Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant clinical professor in the endocrinology division at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was quoted as saying. “Our study indicates that clinicians need to be focusing on ways to improve body composition, rather than on BMI alone, when counseling older adults on preventative health behaviors."

For more information, go to: http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=561&action=detail&ref=2401

SOURCE: American Journal of Medicine, March 2014

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