Objective: To investigate the relationships between regional skeletal muscle mass (SM mass) and bone mineral indices and to examine whether bone mineral content (BMC) normalized to SM mass shows a similar decrease with age in young through old age. Subjects/Methods: One hundred and thirty-eight young and postmenopausal women aged 20-76 years participated in this study and were divided into three groups: 61 young women, 49 middle-aged postmenopausal women and 28 older postmenopausal women. Muscle thickness (MTH) was determined by ultrasound, and regional SM mass (arm, trunk and leg) was estimated based on nine sites of MTH. Whole-body and regional lean soft tissue mass (LSTM), bone mineral density (BMD) and BMC (whole body, arms, legs and lumbar spine) were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results: Ultrasound spectroscopy indicated that SM mass is significantly correlated with site-matched regional bone mineral indices and these relationships correspond to LSTM. The BMC and BMD in older women were significantly lower than those in middle-aged women. When BMC was normalized to site-matched regional SM mass, BMC normalized to SM mass in arm and trunk region were significantly different with age; however, whole-body and leg BMC normalized to SM mass showed no significant difference between middle-aged and older postmenopausal women. Conclusions: The age-related differences in BMC were found to be independent of the ageing of SM mass in the arm and trunk region. However, differences in BMC measures of the leg and whole body were found to correspond to age-related decline of SM mass in postmenopausal women.
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