Association between sarcopenia and levels of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 in the elderly

A. Bian, Y. Ma, X. Zhou, Y. Guo, W. Wang, Y. Zhang, X. Wang

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Apr 7;21(1):214. doi: 10.1186/s12891-020-03236-y.

Age-related sarcopenia is a serious global health issue in elderly individuals and for the community as it induces disability and significant economic burden. The purpose of the study is to understand the factors associated with sarcopenia and the role of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in the occurrence of sarcopenia.

Elderly patients (n = 3276) were included in this cross-sectional study. Survey and measurement of body composition (bioelectrical impedance), grip strength, and step speed were performed according to the Asian Working Group on Sarcopenia (AWGS) diagnostic criteria. Hematological and hormonal indicators were compared between patients with and without sarcopenia in order to identify the associated factors.

There were significant differences in the demographic parameters between the sarcopenia and non-sarcopenia groups (all P < 0.05). There were significant differences between the two groups regarding the blood levels of GH, IGF-1, testosterone (T), and mechanical growth factor (MGF) (all P < 0.001). Correlation analyses showed that the appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASMI) was positively associated with gender and BMI, and with GH, T, IGF-1, MGF, BUN, Cr, and Hb levels, but negatively associated with HDL-C (all P < 0.05). Logistic multivariable regression analysis showed that IGF-1, MGF, BMI, and gender were independently associated with appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASMI) (all P < 0.05).  

Comment:   GH and IGF-1 are associated with sarcopenia in the elderly. IGF-1 and MGF are independently associated with the reduction of skeletal muscle mass, along with BMI and gender.