In this study of Japanese men and women, we determine reference values for sarcopenia and test the hypothesis that sarcopenia is associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, independent of waist circumference. A total of 1,488 Japanese men and women aged 18-85 years participated in this study. Appendicular muscle mass (AMM) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Reference values for classes 1 and 2 sarcopenia (skeletal muscle index: AMM/height2, kg m-2) in each sex were defined as values one and two standard deviations below the sex-specific means of reference values obtained in this study from young adults aged 18-40 years. The reference values for class 1 and class 2 sarcopenia were 7.77 and 6.87 kg m-2 in men and 6.12 and 5.46 kg m-2 in women. In subjects both with class 1 and class 2 sarcopenia, body mass index and % body fat were significantly lower than in normal subjects. Despite whole-blood glycohaemoglobin A1c in men with class 1 sarcopenia was significantly higher than in normal subjects, and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity in women both with class 1 and class 2 sarcopenia were significantly higher than in normal subjects, using one-way ANCOVA with adjustment for the covariate of waist circumference. Although sarcopenia is associated with thin body mass, it is associated with more glycation of serum proteins in men and with greater arterial stiffness in women, independent of waist circumference.
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