Oral Presentation Annual Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society for Reproductive Biology and Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society 2016

Relationship between low lean tissue and arterial stiffness: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational data (#117)

Alexander J Rodriguez 1 , David Scott 1 , Md Nazmul Karim 2 , Velandai Srikanth 3 , Peter R. Ebeling 1
  1. Bone and Muscle Research Group, Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Prahan, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  3. Stroke and Ageing Research Group, Department of Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Background: Arterial stiffness has prognostic value for cardiovascular disease and increases with age. Skeletal muscle declines during ageing. There are a number of pathways common to arterial stiffness and muscle loss suggestive of a bi-directional relationship. Observational studies have examined the association between muscle loss and arterial stiffness. We aimed to quantitatively determine the relationship between lean tissue and arterial stiffness.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis according to MOOSE guidelines. We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for studies reporting correlations or associations between a measure of lean tissue and a measure of arterial stiffness. Meta-analysis was conducted using Fisher’s Z-transformed r-correlation (rZ) values and a pooled weighted rZ and 95% confidence intervals were calculated in an inverse-variance, random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed by the inconsistency index (I2). Study quality was assessed using a checklist using items from MOOSE.

Results: Of 1,195 unique records identified, 21 satisfied our inclusion/exclusion criteria totalling 8,558 participants with mean age 52±4years (range:23-74). Most studies reported a negative relationship between lean tissue and arterial stiffness. Eight studies had data eligible for meta-analysis as most studies did not report correlation or association statistics. Lean tissue was negatively associated with pulse wave velocity [rZ = -0.18 (95%CI: -0.26, -0.10); p<0.0001; I2=81%; n=4,440].

Conclusion: In conclusion, low lean mass is associated with arterial stiffness in adults. Studies were limited by cross-sectional design, heterogeneity and generalisability to other patient groups. Cardiovascular risk monitoring may be strengthened by screening for low muscle mass and maintaining muscle mass may be a primary prevention strategy.