A new study reports that maintaining muscle mass tissue volume might help to ward off heart diseases, particularly in men.

The study highlights that the amount of lean muscle possessed by a healthy person during their middle age is associated with their future predisposition to heart diseases. Maintaining muscle mass might be an effective means of promoting heart health and to prevent heart attacks and strokes later on, at least in males.

Your muscular mass begins to progressively recede away during the mid-30s at a rate of about 3% every ten years. It plays a crucial role in several metabolic activities and thereby its ebbing away can cause disabilities and an elevated risk of mortality.

Although previous studies have indicated that muscle mass is linked to heart diseases, they have only focused on the health outcomes of people who already suffered from such heart diseases. The researchers wanted to determine whether muscular tissue volume in middle age might predict the subsequent risk of poor heart health in individuals without cardiovascular diseases.

The study included new cases of heart diseases arising over a period of a decade in 2020 members of the public among which 1019 were aged above 45 years during 2001-2002. None of them suffered cardiovascular conditions when the study began, which is when they provided lifestyle information including how closely they followed a Mediterranean diet and how physically active they were.

They were all closely monitored and their BMI, blood pressure was measured. Skeletal muscle mass was determined using previously published data and adjusted for BMI.

Their findings revealed that men were about four times as likely to develop heart disease as women after accounting for potentially influential factors and their muscle masses were linked to heart disease link.

Upon further analysis, they found out that muscle mass remained significantly associated with a lower risk of heart disease, irrespective of one’s diet, financial status, educational attainment and other known risk factors like diabetes among men aged 45 and older.

The gender disparity in this finding might be partly attributed to the higher muscle mass in men and hormonal differences between the genders in the aging process.

"This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish a cause. Nevertheless, the results point to the importance of skeletal muscle mass preservation in relation to cardiovascular disease risk," BMJ quoted the study authors.

They also suggested that engaging in regular physical activity, including strength training, and consuming a diet rich in protein, might help preserve lean muscle mass as you age.

muscle mass Deep Khicher, Pixabay