Age-related body composition changes such as sarcopenia and obesity affect functional decline in the elderly. We investigated the relationship between body composition parameters and functional limitation in older Korean adults. We enrolled 242 men and 231 women aged ≥ 65 yr from the Korean elderly cohort. We used appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) divided by height(2) (ASM/Ht(2)) and ASM divided by weight (ASM/Wt). The isokinetic strength of knee extensor muscles were measured using an isokinetic device. Functional limitations were assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score less than nine. Men within the bottom tertile of ASM/Ht(2) confer an increased risk for functional limitation compared with those within the top tertile (OR, 6.24; 95% CI, 1.78-22.0). However, in women, subjects within the lowest ASM/Wt tertile had a higher risk compared with those within the highest tertile instead of ASM/Ht(2) (OR, 7.60; 95% CI, 2.25-25.7). Leg muscle strength remained the strong measure even after controlling for muscle mass only in women. Only large waist circumference was positively associated with functional limitation only in women. We might consider a different muscle index to assess functional limitation according to the gender.
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