Getting a Handle on Better Health – ScienceDaily

Men with muscles like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger look powerful, but a handshake indicates whether they’re a healthy specimen – or at risk for chronic disease or premature aging, experts say.

Medical researchers in South Australia, led by respiratory and sleep expert Professor Robert Adams, assessed more than 600 men ages 40 to 88 in the Men, Androgen, Inflammation, Lifestyle, Environment, and Stress (MAILES) study to determine the link between sleep apnea. and muscle mass with grip strength.

The study’s lead researcher, Professor Adams at Flinders University, says no matter how much muscle there is, a simple grip test can reveal underlying issues related to aging, systemic inflammation and worsening hypoxemia (lack of oxygen in the blood) .

“Without good oxygen levels in the blood, we cannot use the muscles we have to the full,” says Professor Adams.

“Our findings suggest that handgrip strength disorders (HGS) may be related to muscle fat infiltration, hypoxemia-induced decrease in peripheral neural innervation or even endothelial dysfunction – a risk in chronic inflammation and even cancer,” Professor Adams and colleagues conclude in a paper. in open access journal Nature and Science of Sleep.

“Further studies are needed to link the common sleep problem obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with hypoxemia.”

OSA is a common problem involving repeated episodes of partial or complete obstruction of the throat during sleep, which can slow or stop breathing, which can lead to a drop in blood oxygen levels.

Lead author of the paper, Dr. David Stevens, researcher at Adelaide Sleep Institute for Sleep Health, says that nighttime sleep studies in men aimed to link OSA sleep patterns to muscle and fat mass, and in turn grip strength.

“After taking into account health and lifestyle (exercise, smoking and underlying health problems), it was clear that worsening hypoxemia, including how much time was spent with less than 90% oxygen saturation (usually 97%) – and even how long people with completely closed their airways (known as apnea) – associated with reduced grip strength – regardless of muscle mass, ”says Dr. Steven.

“This is important because age-related decreases in strength and immobility (sarcopenia) have been thought to be due to decreases in muscle mass that started when someone was over 60 years old. Instead, the decline in strength seems to start in a younger person. age. age in people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), ”he says.

“In addition, given that more than a quarter of MAILES participants have moderate to severe OSA, this suggests that much of the population is at risk for early strength reduction.”

Further studies of follow-up sleep studies will test for possible mechanisms to explain the results of the study, says Dr. Stevens.

“We recommend doing more research to further explore the relationship between OSA, body composition and HGS.”

The new research paper, Associations of OSA and Nocturnal Hypoxemia with Strength and Body Composition in Community Dwelling Middle Aged and Older Men (2020) by David Stevens, Sarah Appleton, Andrew D Vincent, Yohannes Melaku, Sean Martin, Tiffany Gill, Catherine Hill, Andrew Vakulin, Robert Adams and Gary Wittert (University of Adelaide, SAHMRI) have been published in an open journal Nature and Science of Sleep.

This study was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Foundation (APP 627227), the Hospital Research Foundation (South Australia) and the ResMed Foundation (United States).

The Male Androgen, Inflammation, Lifestyle, Environment and Stress (MAILES) cohort study has longitudinally examined the health of more than 2,000 men in Adelaide, South Australia for more than 15 years.

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