Relationships between markers of inflammation and muscle mass, strength and function: findings from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study

Leo Westbury, Nicholas Fuggle, Holly Syddall, Niharika Duggal, SC Shaw, K Maslin, Elaine Dennison, Janet Lord, Cyrus Cooper

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26 Citations (Scopus)
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PurposeTo investigate the longitudinal relationships between inflammation markers and the following outcomes in a UK cohort study: appendicular lean mass (ALM); walking speed; level and change in grip strength; and sarcopenia defined by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People.MethodsAnalyses were based on 336 community-dwelling older men and women (aged 59 to 70 years) who participated in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS). Inflammation markers were ascertained at baseline using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques and Bio-Plex Pro Assays. Grip strength was measured at baseline and follow-up (median follow-up time: 10.8 years [inter-quartile range 10.2 to 11.6]) and change in grip strength was ascertained using a residual change approach. At follow-up, ALM was ascertained using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), customary walking speed was measured and sarcopenia status was ascertained. Gender-adjusted linear and Poisson regression was used to examine the associations between inflammation markers and outcomes with and without adjustment for anthropometric and lifestyle factors. Results Higher C-reactive protein (CRP) was associated (p<0.04) with lower grip strength and accelerated decline in grip strength from baseline to follow-up. Higher cortisol was associated with lower ALM (p<0.05). Higher interleukin-8 (IL-8) was associated with lower ALM (p<0.05) and increased risk of sarcopenia (fully-adjusted relative risk per SD increase in IL-8: 1.37 [95%CI:1.10,1.71], p=0.005). All associations were robust in fully-adjusted analyses.ConclusionsInflammation markers were associated with measures of muscle mass, strength and function in HCS. Further work is required to replicate these associations and to delineate the underlying mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-295
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number3
Early online date3 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018


  • adipokine
  • interleukin
  • Inflammation
  • muscle
  • sarcopenia
  • strength


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