BACKGROUND: Body mass index (BMI), expressed as the ratio of body mass to height squared (kg/m(2)), involves not only fat but also lean mass. The present study aimed to clarify how BMI is associated with total muscle mass (TMM) in older Japanese women and men.<br /><br />FINDINGS: Using a B-mode ultrasound apparatus, muscle thickness was measured at nine sites (forearm, upper arm anterior and posterior, thigh anterior and posterior, lower leg anterior and posterior, abdomen, and subscapular) for 346 women (BMI 16.40 to 33.11 kg/m(2)) and 286 men (BMI 16.86 to 31.18 kg/m(2)) aged 60.0 to 79.5 yrs. TMM was estimated using the product of the sum of the muscle thicknesses at the nine sites with height as an independent variable. For both sexes, the estimated TMM relative to height squared was significantly correlated with BMI (r = 0.688, P<0.0001 for women; r = 0.696, P<0.0001 for men), but the percentage of the estimated TMM in body mass was not.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: These results indicate that, for older Japanese women and men, BMI is a simple and convenient index for assessing total muscularity.
Kanehisa, H., & Fukunaga, T. (2013). Association between body mass index and muscularity in healthy older Japanese women and men. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 32(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1880-6805-32-4