Novel metabolomics markers are associated with pre-clinical decline in hand grip strength in community-dwelling older adults.
BACKGROUND: Hand grip strength (HGS) has been proposed as a robust predictor for frailty and sarcopenia. Hence, identifying biomarkers for declining HGS accompanying aging could deepen our understanding of the biological underpinnings, informing pre-emptive intervention. Acylcarnitines (ACs) are metabolites generated by fatty acid metabolism in the mitochondria and are dysregulated in multiple disorders affecting the musculature. However, they have not been comprehensively profiled and examined regarding their utility in predicting variability in declining HGS, longitudinally. Thus, we aimed to: 1) validate previous findings on insignificant cross-sectional association between ACs and HGS, and 2) examine whether baseline ACs were associated with both decline and variability in HGS over 18 months, in community-dwelling older adults. METHODS: We included participants who had HGS measured with dynamometer longitudinally (N = 121). We quantified ACs by targeted plasma metabolomics profiling. Multivariable linear regressions were then performed. RESULTS: Cross-sectionally, ACs were not significantly associated with HGS. Longitudinally, baseline short-chain dicarboxylic and hydroxylated acylcarnitines (AC-DC/-OH) levels were inversely associated with and significantly explained the variability in 18-month decline in HGS. A specific AC species, the C4-OH, accounted for most of the variance explained. CONCLUSIONS: We showed novel biomarkers for declining HGS, furthering molecular understanding and informing nutritional pre-emptive programs.
Ng, TKS; Kovalik, J-P; Ching, J; Chan, AW; Matchar, DB
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