Associations of Quadriceps Torque Properties with Muscle Size, Attenuation, and Intramuscular Adipose Tissue in Older Adults

For The AGES-Reykjavik Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background Atrophy and fatty infiltration of muscle with aging are associated with fractures and falls, however, their direct associations with muscle function are not well described. It was hypothesized that participants with lower quadriceps muscle attenuation, area, and greater intramuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) will exhibit slower rates of torque development (RTD) and lower peak knee extension torques. Methods Data from 4,842 participants (2,041 men, 2,801 women) from the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility Reykjavik Study (mean age 76 ± 0.1 years) with complete thigh computed tomography and isometric knee testing. Regression models were adjusted for health, behavior, and comorbidities. Muscle attenuation was further adjusted for muscle area and IMAT; muscle area adjusted for IMAT and attenuation; and IMAT adjusted for muscle area and attenuation. Standardized betas (β) indicate association effect sizes. Results In the fully-adjusted models, attenuation (men β = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.11; women β = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.11) and muscle area (men β = 0.13, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.19; women β = 0.10, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.15) were associated with knee RTD. Attenuation (men β = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.16; women β = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.09, 0.16) and muscle area (men β = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.43; women β = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.37) were associated with peak torque. Conclusions These data suggest that muscle attenuation and area are independently associated with RTD and peak torque; and that area and attenuation demonstrate similar contributions to RTD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-938
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Fat
  • Knee extension
  • Physical function
  • Power
  • Rate of force development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations of Quadriceps Torque Properties with Muscle Size, Attenuation, and Intramuscular Adipose Tissue in Older Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this