Phenotypic differences between people varying in muscularity.

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Center for Data Analysis and Statistics, Mathematical Sciences

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Publication Title

J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle

Document Type



BACKGROUND: Body mass is the primary metabolic compartment related to a vast number of clinical indices and predictions. The extent to which skeletal muscle (SM), a major body mass component, varies between people of the same sex, weight, height, and age is largely unknown. The current study aimed to explore the magnitude of muscularity variation present in adults and to examine if variation in muscularity associates with other body composition and metabolic measures.

METHODS: Muscularity was defined as the difference (residual) between a person's actual and model-predicted SM mass after controlling for their weight, height, and age. SM prediction models were developed using data from a convenience sample of 492 healthy non-Hispanic (NH) White adults (ages 18-80 years) who had total body SM and SM surrogate, appendicular lean soft tissue (ALST), measured with magnetic resonance imaging and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, respectively; residual SM (SM

RESULTS: The SM, on average, constituted the largest fraction of body weight in men and women up to respective BMIs of 35 and 25 kg/m

CONCLUSIONS: Muscle mass is the largest body compartment in most adults without obesity and is widely variable in mass across people of similar body size and age; and high muscularity is accompanied by distinct body composition and metabolic characteristics. This previously unrecognized heterogeneity in muscularity in the general population has important clinical and research implications.

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