Life Science Hour Seminar Series

Name:William J. Evans
Affiliation:Duke University Medical Center and University of California, Berkeley
Title:Sarcopenia reassessed: New methods to evaluate muscle mass and new data on the relationship of muscle mass and functional outcomes in older people
Date:Friday, 8 September 2017
Location:Murie Life Science Bldg, Murie Auditorium.
Host:Trey Coker


The loss of skeletal muscle mass with advancing age is a universal phenomenon. This phenomenon is termed sarcopenia and when first described, sarcopenia, like osteopenia, was thought to be a powerful predictor of late-life disability and mortality. Determination of when an individual should be classified as sarcopenia, however, is controversial. This controversy stems from the fact that muscle strength rather than total body lean mass is more strongly linked to the risk of late-life disability and other activities of daily living. In addition, until recently, there has been no clinical measurement for determination of muscle mass. While lean body mass is associated with morbidity an mortality, the true effects of age-associated changes in skeletal muscle amount, contractile function, and metabolism on risk of age-associated chronic diseases, loss of function, independence and mortality are underestimated. A new method that directly and accurately measures muscle mass by assessment of total body creatine pool size has been validated in adults, infant and children. The method only requires collection of a single, fasting urine sample and can be used in large populations as well as clinical intervention studies. New data collected in a cohort of elderly men demonstrate that muscle mass is strongly associated with important outcomes related to daily activities such as fatigue, walking speed, incident falls, and strength. These relationships are not observed using DEXA, a more traditional assessment of lean mass.

About the Speaker:

William J. Evans is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC and Adjunct Professor of Human Nutrition in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to these appointments, he was Vice President and Head of the Muscle Metabolism Discovery Unit at GlaxoSmithKline. From 1997-2009, he was the Warmack Chair of Nutritional Longevity and director of the Nutrition, Metabolism, and Exercise Laboratory in the Reynolds Institute on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. From 1993-1997, He served as the director of the Noll Physiological Research Center and Professor of Nutrition at the Pennsylvania State University, and 1982 to 1993, as Chief of the Human Physiology Laboratory at the U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. His research has examined the effects of bed rest on body composition, muscle metabolism, and, functional capacity in old men and women; biomarkers for changes in muscle mass and function; and, the etiology of late life muscular dysfunction. He is a founding member of the Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia, and Wasting Disorders.

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