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Obesity and Sarcopenia May Contribute to Increased Risk of Falls Later in Life

Falls become increasingly common as people age, and the results can be physically and financially devastating. A recent study suggests that the combination of obesity and sarcopenia (age-related muscle strength loss) may contribute to an increase in the likelihood of falling later in life.


Participants in the study included more than 160,000 women aged 50 to 79 who took part in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and were followed for more than 15 years. The full study included data on weight, muscle mass, and experiences with falls. The participants underwent bone and body composition scans using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at bsaeline. Sarcopenic obesity was defined as co?occurrence of sarcopenia and obesity.


After examining the data, the researchers found that sarcopenic obesity was associated with a greater risk of falls in women aged 50 to 79. They also found that postmenopausal Hispanic/Latina women were at the highest risk of falls related to sarcopenic obesity.


Researchers from the University of Arizona led the study. It was published on October 30, 2018, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


Previous studies have found that regular exercise may help with both sarcopenia and obesity. Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week for maximum cardiovascular benefits. Aerobic exercise can be added to your routine either as a set workout time or by adding more walking, taking the stairs, and other movement to your day.

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