Physiological and functional evaluation of healthy young and older men and women: design of the European MyoAge study: design of the European MyoAge study

J.S. McPhee, J.Y. Hogrel, A.B. Maier, E. Seppet, O.R. Seynnes, S. Sipila, R. Bottinelli, Y. Barnouin, A.Y. Bijlsma, H. Gapeyeva, T.M. Maden-Wilkinson, C.G.M. Meskers, M. Paasuke, E. Sillanpaa, L. Stenroth, G. Butler-Browne, M.V. Narici, D.A. Jones, Sarianna Sipilä, Mati PääsukeElina Sillanpää

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Within the European multi-centre MyoAge project, one workpackage was designed to investigate the contribution of age-related changes to muscle mass, contractile characteristics and neural control in relation to reductions in mobility in older age. The methodology has been described here. Test centres were located in Manchester, UK; Paris, France; Leiden, The Netherlands; Tartu, Estonia and Jyväskylä, Finland. In total, 182 young (18-30 years old, 52.2 % female) and 322 older adults (69-81 years old, 50 % female) have been examined. The participants were independent living, socially active and free from disease that impaired mobility levels. The older participants were selected based on physical activity levels, such that half exceeded current recommended physical activity levels and the other half had lower physical activity levels than is recommended to maintain health. Measurements consisted of blood pressure; anthropometry and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and magnetic resonance imaging); lung function; standing balance and cognitive function (CANTAB). Mobility was assessed using the Timed Up and Go, a 6 min walk, activity questionnaires and accelerometers to monitor habitual daily activities. Muscle strength, power, fatigue and neural activation were assessed using a combination of voluntary and electrically stimulated contractions. Fasting blood samples and skeletal muscle biopsies were collected for detailed examination of cell and molecular differences between young and older individuals. The results from this study will provide a detailed insight into "normal, healthy" ageing, linking whole-body function to the structure and function of the neuromuscular system and the molecular characteristics of skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging/physiology
  • Blood Pressure/physiology
  • Body Composition/physiology
  • Europe
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Heart Rate/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity/physiology
  • Muscle Strength/physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal/physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Walking/physiology
  • Young Adult

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