Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 49–57 | Cite as

Association between skeletal muscle mass and cardiorespiratory fitness in community-dwelling elderly men

  • Seung-Hyun Boo
  • Min Cheol Joo
  • Jeong Mi Lee
  • Seung Chan Kim
  • Young Mi Yu
  • Min-Su KimEmail author
Original Article



Sarcopenia reduces physical ability and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), leading to poor quality of life.


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between skeletal muscle mass and CRF in elderly men.


We assessed 102 community-dwelling men over 60 years old. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) was determined using bioelectrical impedance analysis, and the skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was calculated as ASM divided by the square of height. Subjects with an SMI less than 7.0 kg/m2 were included in the sarcopenic group, as recommended by the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia. To investigate CRF parameters, a cardiopulmonary exercise test was performed using the Bruce protocol. CRF parameters were subdivided into aerobic capacity, cardiovascular response, and ventilatory response.


Of the 102 subjects, 15 (14.7%) were included in the sarcopenic group. There were significant correlations between SMI and peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) (r = 0.597, p < 0.001), and between SMI and VO2peak/weight (r = 0.268, p = 0.024). Moreover, there were positive correlations between SMI and first ventilatory threshold (VT1) (r = 0.352, p = 0.008) and between SMI and VT1/weight (r = 0.189, p = 0.039). Additionally, peak oxygen pulse (O2pulsepeak) was significantly correlated with SMI (r = 0.558, p < 0.001). VO2peak, VO2peak/weight and O2pulsepeak showed significant differences between the sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic groups (p < 0.05, all). In multiple linear regression analyses, the factor related to VO2peak was SMI (β = 0.473, p < 0.001) and that related to O2pulsepeak was also SMI (β = 0.442, p < 0.001).

Discussion and conclusions

This study demonstrated that skeletal muscle mass might be closely associated with CRF. Therefore, sarcopenia should be appropriately managed to improve an individual’s CRF.


Cardiorespiratory fitness Oxygen consumption Sarcopenia Stroke volume Skeletal muscle 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineWonkwang University School of MedicineIksanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Preventive MedicineWonkwang University School of MedicineIksanRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsPukyong National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineWonkwang University Hospital at 895Iksan-siRepublic of Korea

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