The study investigated age-related changes in the thickness of the deep and superficial abdominal muscles of 103 healthy women who could walk independently The participants were classified into five age groups: young (n= 26; 20-24 years), young adult (n= 26; 25-44 years), middle-aged (n= 16; 45-64 years), young-old (n= 16; 65-74 years), and old-old (n= 19; 75-85 years). The muscle thicknesses of the right rectus abdominis, external oblique, internal oblique, and transversus abdominis were measured using ultrasound imaging. The rectus abdominis was significantly thicker in the young group compared with the young adult, middle-aged, young-old, and old-old groups (p< 0.05). The external oblique and internal oblique muscles were significantly thicker in the young group compared with the middle-aged, young-old, and old-old groups (p< 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in the thickness of the transversus abdominis between groups. The results suggest that age-related muscle atrophy occurs from an early age in superficial abdominal muscles, such as rectus abdominis, and that age-related atrophy is less in deep abdominal muscles such as the transversus abdominis.
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