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Linköping, Sweden, October 29, 2021: In collaboration with Linköping University and Virginia Commonwealth University, AMRA researchers found that adverse muscle composition—defined by low muscle volume coupled with high muscle fat infiltration—was a strong and independent predictor of all-cause mortality. This research can potentially help guide the design of future clinical trials and drug development programs. The project is part of the EU’s H2020 Research and Innovation Programme, funded by CoMorMent (grant agreement/project number 847776) and is accepted for publication in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle (JCSM).
Older adults progressively lose muscle mass and strength as they age – a process that is intensified in individuals with metabolic disorders, like type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The associations between muscle mass, function, and quality, and mortality are unclear, making it difficult to identify the most vulnerable individuals.
By using UK Biobank data and AMRA’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements, the researchers found that adverse muscle composition was a strong and independent predictor of all-cause mortality. In fact, adverse muscle composition had a hazard ratio magnitude comparable to that of a previous cancer diagnosis or smoking. Over 40,000 participants were scanned using a 6-minute MRI protocol and images were analyzed for thigh fat-free muscle volume (FFMV) and muscle fat infiltration (MFI). At imaging, adverse muscle composition was detected in 10.5% of participants, and the risk of death from any cause in adverse muscle composition was 3.7 times more likely compared to normal muscle composition.
What’s more, adverse muscle composition was highly associated with all-cause mortality regardless of functional performance (based on hand-grip strength, walking pace, and falls). The combination of poor function with adverse muscle composition was most closely associated with death.
AMRA’s previous findings have revealed that adverse muscle composition was prevalent in 14% of individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This phenotype—NAFLD with adverse muscle composition—was associated with a very high prevalence of metabolic comorbidities. Connecting this research with the present study demonstrates that adverse muscle composition is a prevalent, yet highly vulnerable phenotype. 1 Together, this research indicates that objectively measuring muscle health is an important consideration in clinical trial design and could predict liver disease progression and poor patient outcomes.
Read the full publication titled “Adverse muscle composition predicts all-cause mortality in the UK Biobank imaging study“ at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jcsm.12834.
About AMRA Medical
AMRA is a ground-breaking international digital health company at the forefront of medical imaging and precision medicine. The company has developed a new global standard in body composition assessment, the ability to automatically produce multiple fat and muscle biomarkers with unrivaled precision and accuracy, as well as contextual disease insights – all from a single, rapid, whole-body MRI.
UK Biobank is a large-scale biomedical database and research resource, containing in-depth genetic and health information from half a million UK participants. The database, which is regularly augmented with additional data, is globally accessible to approved researchers and scientists undertaking vital research into the most common and life-threatening diseases. UK Biobank’s research resource is a major contributor to the advancement of modern medicine and treatment and has enabled several scientific discoveries that improve human health.
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1Linge J, et al. JHEP 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhepr.2020.100197