Background: This study aimed to develop and cross-validate prediction equations for estimating appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) and to examine the relationship between sarcopenia defined by the prediction equations and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or osteoporosis in Japanese men and women. Methods: Subjects were healthy men and women aged 20-90 years, who were randomly allocated to the following two groups: the development group (D group; 257 men, 913 women) and the cross-validation group (V group; 119 men, 112 women). To develop prediction equations, stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed on data obtained from the D group, using ASM measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as a dependent variable and five easily obtainable measures (age, height, weight, waist circumference, and handgrip strength) as independent variables. Results: When the prediction equations for ASM estimation were applied to the V group, a significant correlation was found between DXA-measured ASM and predicted ASM in both men and women (R 2 = 0.81 and R 2 = 0.72). Our prediction equations had higher R 2 values compared to previously developed equations (R 2 = 0.75-0.59 and R 2 = 0.69-0.40) in both men and women. Moreover, sarcopenia defined by predicted ASM was related to risk factors for osteoporosis and CVD, as well as sarcopenia defined by DXA-measured ASM. Conclusions: In this study, novel prediction equations were developed and cross-validated in Japanese men and women. Our analyses validated the clinical significance of these prediction equations and showed that previously reported equations were not applicable in a Japanese population.
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