Medicine (Western Health) - Research Publications

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    Effects of 3 months of multi-nutrient supplementation on the immune system and muscle and respiratory function of older adults in aged care (The Pomerium Study): protocol for a randomised controlled trial
    Al Saedi, A ; Kirk, B ; Iuliano, S ; Zanker, J ; Vogrin, S ; Jayaram, L ; Thomas, S ; Golding, C ; Navarro-Perez, D ; Marusic, P ; Leng, S ; Nanan, R ; Duque, G (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-05-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Immunosenescence leads to increased morbidity and mortality associated with viral infections and weaker vaccine responses. This has been well documented for seasonal influenza and the current pandemic with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), which disproportionately impact older adults, particularly those in residential aged care facilities. Inadequate nutrient intakes associated with impaired immunity, respiratory and muscle function are likely to augment the effects of immunosenescence. In this study, we test whether the impact of inadequate nutrition can be reversed using multi-nutrient supplementation, consequently enhancing vaccine responses, reducing the risk of viral infections and improving respiratory and muscle function. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Pomerium Study is a 3-month, single-blind, randomised, controlled trial testing the effects of two daily servings of an oral multi-nutrient supplement (330 kcal, 20 g protein, 1.5 g calcium 3-hydroxy-3-methylbutyrate monohydrate (CaHMB), 449 mg calcium, 500 IU vitamin D3 and 25 vitamins and minerals) on the immune system and muscle and respiratory function of older adults in aged care in Melbourne, Australia. 160 older adults (≥75 years old) will be recruited from aged care facilities and randomised to treatment (multi-nutrient supplement) or control (usual care). The primary outcome is a change in T-cell subsets CD8 + and CD28null counts at months 1 and 3. Secondary outcomes measured at baseline and month 3 are multiple markers of immunosenescence (also at 1 month), body composition (bioimpedance), handgrip strength (dynamometer), physical function (short physical performance battery), respiratory function (spirometry) and quality of life (EQ-5D-5L). Incidence and complications of COVID-19 and/or viral infections (ie, hospitalisation, complications or death) will be recorded throughout the trial, including 3 months after supplementation is ceased. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee (Ref No. HREC/73985/MH-2021, ERM Ref No. RMH73985, Melbourne Health Site Ref No. 2021.115). Written informed consent will be obtained from participants. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and made available to key aged care stakeholders, including providers, residents, and government bodies. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12621000420842.
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    Body composition reference ranges in community-dwelling adults using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry: the Australian Body Composition (ABC) Study
    Kirk, B ; Bani Hassan, E ; Brennan-Olsen, S ; Vogrin, S ; Bird, S ; Zanker, J ; Phu, S ; Meerkin, JD ; Heymsfield, SB ; Duque, G (WILEY, 2021-05-14)
    BACKGROUND: Reference ranges for lean mass (LM) and fat mass (FM) are essential in identifying soft tissue disorders; however, no such reference ranges exist for the most commonly used Hologic dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) machine in Australia. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of community-dwelling adults (aged 18-88 years) who underwent a Hologic DXA scan at one of three commercialized densitometry centres in Australia. Age-specific and sex-specific percentile curves were generated for LM [LM, appendicular lean mass (ALM), ALM adjusted for height squared (ALM/h2 ), and ALM adjusted for body mass index (ALM/BMI)] and FM [FM, FM adjusted for height squared (FM/h2 ), appendicular fat mass, and android and gynoid fat] parameters using the LMS statistical method. Cutpoints equivalent to T-scores of -1, -2, and -2.5 standard deviations below the young mean reference group (20-29 years) were also generated for LM parameters. RESULTS: A total of 15 479 community-dwelling adults (54% men) with a median age of 33 years (interquartile range: 28, 42) were included. LM, ALM, and ALM/h2 remained stable until age 50, after which these parameters started to decline in both sexes. Compared with age 50, median percentiles of LM, ALM, and ALM/h2 declined by -5.9 kg, -3.7 kg, and -0.86 kg/m2 in men and by -2.5 kg, -1.8 kg, and -0.10 kg/m2 in women at age 70, respectively. Adjusting ALM for BMI (rather than height squared) resulted in different trends, with ALM/BMI decreasing from as early as age 20. Compared with age 20, median percentiles of ALM/BMI at age 40 declined by -0.10 kg/kg/m2 in men and by -0.06 kg/kg/m2 in women; and at age 70, ALM/BMI declined by -0.25 kg/kg/m2 in men and by -0.20 kg/kg/m2 in women. Cutpoints equivalent to T-scores of -1, -2, and -2.5 standard deviations for ALM/BMI were 1.01, 0.86, and 0.77 kg/kg/m2 in men and 0.70, 0.59, and 0.53 kg/kg/m2 in women, respectively. All FM parameters progressively increased from age 20 and continued up until age 70. CONCLUSIONS: We developed reference ranges for LM and FM parameters from Hologic DXA machines in a large cohort of Australian adults, which will assist researchers and clinicians in identifying soft tissue disorders such as obesity, sarcopenia, and cachexia.
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    Osteosarcopenia: epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment-facts and numbers
    Kirk, B ; Zanker, J ; Duque, G (WILEY, 2020-03-22)
    BACKGROUND: Osteosarcopenia, the presence of osteopenia/osteoporosis and sarcopenia, is an emerging geriatric giant, which poses a serious global health burden. METHODS AND RESULTS: The prevalence of osteosarcopenia ranges in community-dwelling older adults [5-37% (≥65 years)] with the highest rates observed in those with fractures (low-trauma fracture: ~46%; hip fracture: 17.1-96.3%). Among 2353 community-dwelling adults, risk factors associated with osteosarcopenia include older age [men: 14.3% (60-64 years) to 59.4% (≥75 years); women: 20.3% (60-64 years) to 48.3% (≥75 years), P < 0.05], physical inactivity [inverse relationship: 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.46-0.88 (sexes combined)], low body mass index (inverse relationship: men: 0.84, 95% CI 0.81-0.88; women: 0.77, 95% CI 0.74-0.80), and higher fat mass (men: 1.46, 95% CI 1.11-1.92; women: 2.25, 95% CI 1.71-2.95). Among 148 geriatric inpatients, osteosarcopenic individuals demonstrate poorer nutritional status (mini-nutritional assessment scores: 8.50 ± 2.52 points, P < 0.001) vs. osteoporosis or sarcopenia alone, while among 253 older Australians, osteosarcopenia is associated with impaired balance and functional capacity [odds ratios (ORs): 2.56-7.19; P < 0.05] vs. non-osteosarcopenia. Osteosarcopenia also associates with falls (ORs: 2.83-3.63; P < 0.05), fractures (ORs: 3.86-4.38; P < 0.05), and earlier death [hazard ratio (1-year follow-up): 1.84, 95% CI; 0.69-4.92, P = 0.023] vs. non-osteosarcopenia. CONCLUSIONS: This syndrome is expected to grow in age-related and disease-related states, a likely consequence of immunosenescence coinciding with increased sedentarism, obesity, and fat infiltration of muscle and bone. Evidence suggests the pathophysiology of osteosarcopenia includes genetic polymorphisms, reduced mechanical loading, and impaired endocrine functioning, as well as altered crosstalk between muscle, bone, and fat cells. Clinicians should screen for osteosarcopenia via imaging methods (i.e. dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) to quantify muscle and bone mass, in addition to assessing muscle strength (i.e. grip strength) and functional capacity (i.e. gait speed). A comprehensive geriatric assessment, including medical history and risk factors, must also be undertaken. Treatment of this syndrome should include osteoporotic drugs [bone anabolics/antiresorptives (i.e. teriparatide, denosumab, bisphosphates)] where indicated, and progressive resistance and balance exercises (at least 2-3 times/week). To maximize musculoskeletal health, nutritional recommendations [protein (1.2-1.5 g/kg/day), vitamin D (800-1000 IU/day), calcium (1300 mg/day), and creatine (3-5 g/day)] must also be met. It is anticipated that diagnosis and treatment for osteosarcopenia will become part of routine healthcare in the future. However, further work is required to identify biomarkers, which, in turn, may increase diagnosis, risk stratification, and targeted treatments to improve health outcomes.
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    The diagnostic value of the Short Physical Performance Battery for sarcopenia
    Phu, S ; Kirk, B ; Bani Hassan, E ; Vogrin, S ; Zanker, J ; Bernardo, S ; Duque, G (BMC, 2020-07-13)
    BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia is defined as the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength, and physical performance. The original European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older Persons (EWGSOP1) definition, and its revision (EWGSOP2), provide new cut-points and alternate measures for sarcopenia diagnosis. However, sarcopenia is rarely diagnosed in clinical settings owing to its labor-intensive diagnostic process. Given the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) is a quick, easily administrable, and objective measure of muscle strength and physical performance, both of which are key components of sarcopenia, this study examined the diagnostic value of the SPPB for this muscle disease. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of 294 community-dwelling older persons (≥65 years) was conducted. Appendicular lean body mass [(ALM) divided by height squared (ALM/h2)], muscle strength (handgrip/sit to stand), and physical performance [gait speed, timed up and go (TUG) and SPPB] were assessed using validated procedures, while participants were diagnosed with sarcopenia following the EWGSOP1 and EWGSOP2 criteria. Diagnostic ability of the SPPB independently and combined with ALM/h2 for sarcopenia was determined using area under the curve (AUC). Potential cut-points were identified, and sensitivity and specificity calculated. RESULTS: Prevalence of sarcopenia ranged from 4 to 16% depending on the definition. The SPPB demonstrated moderate (AUC = 0.644-0.770) value in diagnosing sarcopenia, and a cut-point of ≤8points in SPPB performance resulted in high sensitivity (82-100%) but low specificity (36-41%) for diagnosing those with severe sarcopenia. CONCLUSIONS: The SPPB displayed acceptable value in diagnosing older adults with severe sarcopenia. Moreover, the high sensitivity of the SPPB when using the cut-point of ≤8 suggests it may be a favorable screening tool for sarcopenia in clinical settings where ALM measurements are not available.