NATURE COMMUNICATIONS - ANNE NEWMAN, EPI chair, is co-author of a recent article on the largest, most comprehensive genetic study of lean mass to date. By understanding the genetic contributions to lean mass—an indicator of muscle mass—future treatments may be developed to prevent the loss of lean mass with aging. With age, some people develop a condition called “sarcopenia” where they lose critical amounts of muscle mass, to the point that they develop functional impairments and disabilities. With this study, scientists hoped to pinpoint the genes associated with lean mass that may one day lead to therapies that will curtail loss of lean mass and prevent the onset of such disabilities.
This project involved more than 50 individual studies and a total of about 100,000 study participants from around the world that all contributed data to discover the genetic determinants of lean mass. Dr. Newman contributed data from two studies included in the publication – the Health Aging and Body Composition Study (Health ABC) and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS).