Effects of muscle composition and architecture on specific strength in obese older women

F. Rastelli, P. Capodaglio, S. Orgiu, C. Santovito, M. Caramenti, M. Cadioli, A. Falini, G. Rizzo, C. L. Lafortuna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New Findings: What is the central question of this study? Do obesity-specific factors affect skeletal muscle performance in older individuals? What is the main finding and its importance? Older obese women have a larger quadriceps femoris size but develop lower tension per unit of skeletal muscle than their normal-weight counterparts. Muscle impairment and excess body mass are very common among older people. Given that the effect of obesity on strength production has scarcely been studied in older individuals, we analysed functional and structural characteristics of quadriceps femoris (QF) in obese (OB) and normal-weight (NW) older women with comparable habitual physical activity. In five OB (body mass index 36.8 ± 1.9 kg m-2, age 72.4 ± 2.3 years) and six NW well-functioning older women (body mass index 24.3 ± 1.8 kg m-2, age 72.7 ± 1.9 years), peak knee-extension torque (KET) was measured in isometric (90 deg knee flexion) and isokinetic conditions (240, 180, 120 and 60 deg s-1). Mid-thigh QF cross-sectional area (CSA) and muscle tissue fat content (MF%) were determined with magnetic resonance imaging (Dixon sequence). Muscle fascicle length and pennation angle (PA) were assessed with ultrasonography for each muscle belly of the QF (vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, rectus femoris and vastus intermedius). Despite similar values of KET, CSA was 17.0% larger in OB than in NW women (P 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1167
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of muscle composition and architecture on specific strength in obese older women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this