Prepubertal Asians have less limb skeletal muscle

Mi Yeon Song, Jaehee Kim, Mary Horlick, Jack Wang, Richard N. Pierson, Moonseong Heo, Dympna Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Skeletal muscle mass in prepubertal Asian children has not been examined previously. The aims of this study were to test the hypotheses that 1) prepubertal Asians have less appendicular skeletal muscle (ASM) mass compared with African-Americans and Caucasians, and 2) ASM is less in prepubertal Asian girls compared with Asian boys. ASM was estimated by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in healthy prepubertal girls (n = 170) and boys (n = 166). The results showed that, after adjusting for age, height, and body weight, 1) Asian girls and boys had less amounts of ASM than African-Americans (P < 0.001); 2) Asian girls had less amounts of ASM than Caucasian girls (P = 0.004); 3) there was a trend towards less ASM in Asian compared with Caucasian boys (P = 0.07); 4) and Asian girls had significantly less ASM than Asian boys (P < 0.001). This study indicates that skeletal muscle mass as a fraction of body weight is smaller in Asian compared with African-American and Caucasian children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2285-2291
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • African-American
  • Caucasian
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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