Usual Care Doesn't Stop Muscle Loss in Idiopathic Fracture

Men have reduced muscle mass, physical function, quality of life six years after vertebral fracture

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Routine management of men with idiopathic vertebral fracture has no effect on observed muscle loss; and patients still have significantly lower physical functioning and quality of life than controls after six years of follow-up, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Jamie H. Macdonald, Ph.D., from Bangor University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues investigated the effect of six years of routine management on body composition, physical functioning, and quality of life, and their interrelationships in 22 men with idiopathic vertebral fracture (mean age, 58 years) and 28 matched healthy controls. The main outcome measure was appendicular lean mass (skeletal muscle mass), measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry at two visits: visit one at baseline and visit two at six years. At visit two, the Senior Fitness Test and Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire were administered to assess physical functioning and quality-of-life domains.

The investigators found that, at visits one and two, patients had 9 and 5 percent lower appendicular lean mass, respectively, than controls; with patients significantly better maintaining appendicular lean mass between visits. The change in patients' appendicular lean mass was significantly associated with femoral neck bone density change (r = 0.507). Physical function tests and SF-36 quality-of-life physical domains were lower in patients than controls (13 to 27 percent and 13 to 26 percent, respectively; P = 0.056 to 0.003 and 0.028 to <0.001, respectively).

"Despite an association between changes in muscle mass and bone density, routine management of men with idiopathic vertebral fracture does not address muscle loss," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed financial ties to Amgen.

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