Muscle Mass & CardioVascular Disease Association


There is debate whether body mass index is a good predictor of health outcomes because different tissues, namely skeletal muscle mass (SMM) and fat mass (FM), may be differentially associated with risk. We investigated the association of appendicular SMM (aSMM) and FM with fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all‐cause mortality. We compared their prognostic value to that of body mass index.

We studied 356 590 UK Biobank participants aged 40 to 69 years with bioimpedance analysis data for whole‐body FM and predicted limb muscle mass (to calculate aSMM). Associations between aSMM and FM with CVD and all‐cause mortality were examined using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.


FM(Fat Mass) showed a strong positive association with CVD(CardioVascular Disease) risk. The relationship of aSMM(appendicular Skeletal Muscle Mass) with CVD risk differed between sexes, and potential mechanisms need further investigation. Body fat and SMM bioimpedance measurements were not superior to body mass index in predicting population‐level CVD incidence or all‐cause mortality.


Higher body fat (Fat Mass [FM]) seems to relate to higher chances of cardiovascular disease(CVD). Having higher limb(arm/leg) muscle-mass could also correlate to lower overall body fat, thus reducing the likelihood of an earlier death from CVD. It would make sense that if you have higher arm and leg muscle, you’re probably also a more active individual, thus boasting other health benefits also lowering CVD early-death risk association.

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