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10.02.2018


Strong muscles lower mortality in people in their twenties and thirties

On this website you will find a small dozen posts about the relation between strong and developed muscles on the one hand, and longevity on the other. [Links to those posts at the bottom of this page.] These articles may have given the impression that the positive effects of strong muscles become visible only later in life, but that is not the case. Strong muscles also reduce the risk of death in people in their twenties and thirties. This is evident from a Swedish epidemiological study, which appeared in 2012 in BMJ.

Study
The researchers measured the muscular strength of more than a million Swedish boys aged 16-19 years. They followed them for 24 years.

Results
During the follow-up period, 2 percent of the boys died. The major cause of death was suicide (22 percent), followed by cancer (15 percent) and cardiovascular disease (8 percent).

Overweight/obesity and high blood pressure increased the chance of premature death; so did having little muscle strength.

The effect of muscle strength was of the same order as overweight and high blood pressure, and it was also independent. That means that explanations like "overweight boys have weaker muscles, so the increased risk in boys with little muscle strength is actually caused by obesity" don't hold water.

It did not matter whether the researchers determined the muscle strength with a gripper that the boys had to squeeze, or on the basis of the strength the boys could develop on a leg extension machine.


Strong muscles lower mortality in people in their twenties and thirties

Strong muscles lower mortality in people in their twenties and thirties

Strong muscles lower mortality in people in their twenties and thirties

Strong muscles lower mortality in people in their twenties and thirties


Conclusion
"Low muscular strength in adolescents is an emerging risk factor for major causes of death in young adulthood, such as suicide and cardiovascular diseases", the researchers wrote. "The effect size observed for all cause mortality was equivalent to that for well established risk factors such as elevated body mass index or blood pressure."

Source:
BMJ. 2012;345:e7279.

More:
The muscles you are growing now may save your life later 10.01.2018
Muscle mass is key factor in surviving incurable cancer 29.04.2017
Muscle mass extends life expectancy 14.06.2014

Archives:
Strength Training
Longevity


Strong muscles, strong immune system
The riper the age you reach, the worse your immune system functions. Italian researchers discovered that you can halt the decline of the immune system by doing resistance training.

Strong muscles protect against cancer
Build muscle mass and muscle strength, and you'll also build up protection against cancer.

The more muscle you have the longer you live
Lean body mass protects as the years pass, write researchers from Umea University in Sweden in Age and Ageing.