Association of IGF-I levels with muscle strength and mobility in older women

Anne R. Cappola, Karen Bandeen-Roche, Gary S. Wand, Stefano Volpato, Linda P. Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


The functional consequences of the age-associated decline in IGF-I are unknown. We hypothesized that low IGF-I levels in older women would be associated with poor muscle strength and mobility. We assessed this question in a population representative of the full spectrum of health in the community, obtaining serum IGF-I levels from women aged 70-79 yr, enrolled in the Women's Health and Aging Study I or II. Cross-sectional analyses were performed using 617 women with IGF-I levels drawn within 90 d of measurement of outcomes. After adjustment for age, there was an association between IGF-I and knee extensor strength (P = 0.004), but not anthropometry or other strength measures. We found a positive relationship between IGF-I levels and walking speed for IGF-I levels below 50 μg/liter (P < 0.001), but no relationship above this threshold. A decline in IGF-I level was associated with self-reported difficulty in mobility tasks. All findings were attenuated after multivariate adjustment. In summary, in a study population including frail and healthy older women, low IGF-I levels were associated with poor knee extensor muscle strength, slow walking speed, and self-reported difficulty with mobility tasks. These findings suggest a role for IGF-I in disability as well as a potential target population for interventions to raise IGF-I levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4139-4146
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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