European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 99, Issue 5, pp 475–483 | Cite as

Effects of age on ventilatory threshold and peak oxygen uptake normalised for regional skeletal muscle mass in Japanese men and women aged 20–80 years

  • Kiyoshi Sanada
  • Tsutomu Kuchiki
  • Motohiko Miyachi
  • Kelly McGrath
  • Mitsuru Higuchi
  • Hiroshi Ebashi
Original Article


Ventilatory threshold (VT) is an important predictor of cardiorespiratory fitness, such as peak oxygen uptake \((\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{2} {\text{peak}}}}),\) and is a valuable index of aerobic exercise intensity. However, little is known about the role of skeletal muscle (SM) mass in the age-associated decline of VT. Therefore, the present study was performed to investigate the effects of age on cardiopulmonary fitness normalised for regional SM mass in 1,463 Japanese men and women, and to determine the relevance of VT normalised to SM mass based on age and gender. Total, trunk and thigh SM mass were measured using an ultrasound method, while \(\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{2} {\text{peak}}}}\) and VT were determined during treadmill walking. \(\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{2} {\text{peak}}}}\) was estimated using the predicted maximum heart rate (HR) and the \({\hbox{HR}{\text{--}}\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{2}}}}\) relationship for sub-maximal treadmill walking. There were significant negative correlations between VT normalised for body mass and age in men and women (P <  0.001). Age-associated declines were also observed in VT normalised for body mass in both men and women; however, VT normalised for SM mass was not significantly different with age. Significant correlations were also observed between thigh SM mass and VT in both men and women. These results suggest that thigh SM mass is closely associated with \(\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{2} {\text{peak}}}}\) and/or VT in both men and women, and the decrease in VT with age is predominantly due to an age-related decline of SM mass. Moreover, this study provides normative cardiorespiratory fitness data regarding VT normalised SM mass in healthy men and women aged 20–80 years.


Age Anaerobic threshold Gender Skeletal muscle mass Ultrasound \(\dot{V}_{{{\text{O}}_{2} {\text{peak}}}}\) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiyoshi Sanada
    • 1
  • Tsutomu Kuchiki
    • 2
  • Motohiko Miyachi
    • 3
  • Kelly McGrath
    • 4
  • Mitsuru Higuchi
    • 5
  • Hiroshi Ebashi
    • 6
  1. 1.Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical CareWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Division of Integrated Humanistic and Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Integrated Science and ArtUniversity of East AsiaShimonosekiJapan
  3. 3.National Institute of Health and NutritionTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Physiological Sciences and Sports PerformanceNational Institute of Fitness and SportsKanoyaJapan
  5. 5.Faculty of Sport SciencesWaseda UniversityTokorozawaJapan
  6. 6.Faculty of Integrated Cultures and HumanitiesUniversity of East AsiaShimonosekiJapan

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