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Higher uric acid serum levels are associated with better muscle function in the oldest old: Results from the Mugello Study

Published:March 22, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2017.03.014

      Highlights

      • Sarcopenia is the age-related progressive loss of muscle mass and strength.
      • Oxidative damage of muscle proteins is a major contributory factor to sarcopenia.
      • Uric acid (UA) is a powerful endogenous scavenging antioxidant.
      • Higher UA levels are associated with better muscle function in nonagenarians.
      • Higher UA levels might slow down the progression of sarcopenia in late life.

      Abstract

      Background

      Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with advancing age and plays a pivotal role in the causal pathway leading to frailty, disability and, eventually, to death among older persons. As oxidative damage of muscle proteins has been shown to be a relevant contributory factor, in this study we hypothesized that uric acid (UA), a powerful endogenous antioxidant, might exert a protective effect on muscle function in the oldest old and we tested our hypothesis in a group of nonagenarians who participated in the Mugello Study.

      Methods

      239 subjects, 73 men and 166 women, mean age 92.8 years ± SD 3.1, underwent the assessment of UA serum level and isometric handgrip strength, a widely used clinical measure of sarcopenia.

      Results

      Mean UA serum level was 5.69 mg/dL ± SD 1.70 and mean handgrip strength was 15.0 kg ± SD 6.9. After adjusting for relevant confounders, higher UA serum levels remained independent positive predictors of isometric handgrip strength (β 1.24 ± SE(β) 0.43, p = 0.005).

      Conclusion

      Our results show that higher UA serum levels are associated with better muscle function in the oldest old and, accordingly, might slow down the progression of sarcopenia.

      Keywords

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