Osteoporosis International

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 2423–2429 | Cite as

Low pulmonary function is related with a high risk of sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2011

  • Y. K. Jeon
  • M. J. Shin
  • M. H. Kim
  • J. H. Mok
  • S. S. Kim
  • B. H. Kim
  • S.-J. Kim
  • Y. K. Kim
  • J. H. Chang
  • Y. B. Shin
  • I. J. KimEmail author
Original Article



Sarcopenia is the age-related reduction of skeletal muscle mass in older individuals. Respiratory muscle strength may be related to skeletal muscle mass and, thus, the present study attempted to estimate the risk of sarcopenia relative to decreased pulmonary function. The present findings demonstrated that low pulmonary function was associated with low muscle mass in community-dwelling older adults.


Lean body mass is related to pulmonary function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the relationship between muscle mass and pulmonary function in healthy older adults has yet to be clarified. Thus, the present study investigated the association of pulmonary function with muscle mass in an older community-dwelling Korean population.


This study included 463 disease-free subjects over 65 years of age who underwent anthropometric measurements, laboratory tests, spirometry, and the estimation of appendicular skeletal muscle (ASM) mass in the 2008–2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). Low muscle mass was defined as the value of ASM divided by height squared (ASM/height2) that was less than two standard deviations (SD) below the sex-specific mean of the young reference group.


Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1[L]) and forced vital capacity (FVC[L]) were positively correlated with ASM/height2 in males (p < 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively) but not in females (p = 0.360 and p = 0.779, respectively). A univariate logistic regression analysis revealed that males with low FEV1 or FVC were more likely to have low muscle mass (odds ratio [OR] = 3.11, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.62–5.99 for FEV1; OR = 1.99, 95 % CI 1.13–3.53 for FVC); similar results were found for females, but the significance was lower (OR = 11.37, 95 % CI 0.97–132.91 for FEV1; OR = 7.31, 95 % CI 1.25–42.74 for FVC). After adjusting for age, smoking, and moderate physical activity, a low FEV1 value was associated with low muscle mass in both males (OR = 2.90, 95 % CI 1.50–5.63) and females (OR = 9.15, 95 % CI 1.53–54.77).


Using nationally representative data from the 2008–2011 KNHANES, low pulmonary function was found to be associated with low muscle mass in community-dwelling older Korean adults.


FEV1 Respiratory function Sarcopenia 



No grants or fellowships supported the writing of this manuscript. The authors would like to thank Pusan National University Hospital Regional Center for Respiratory Diseases for their support in this work.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. K. Jeon
    • 1
    • 6
  • M. J. Shin
    • 2
    • 6
  • M. H. Kim
    • 3
    • 6
  • J. H. Mok
    • 3
    • 6
  • S. S. Kim
    • 1
    • 6
  • B. H. Kim
    • 1
    • 6
  • S.-J. Kim
    • 4
    • 6
  • Y. K. Kim
    • 5
  • J. H. Chang
    • 2
    • 6
  • Y. B. Shin
    • 2
    • 6
  • I. J. Kim
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal MedicinePusan National University School of MedicineBusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University HospitalPusan National University School of MedicineBusanKorea
  3. 3.Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal MedicinePusan National University School of MedicineBusanKorea
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear MedicinePusan National University School of MedicineBusanKorea
  5. 5.Kim Yong Ki ClinicBusanKorea
  6. 6.Medical Research InstitutePusan National UniversityBusanKorea

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