This study investigated the relationships between muscle echo intensity (EI), physical activity (PA), and functional mobility in 108 Japanese (88-92 years). We measured EI and muscle thickness (MT) at the midpoint of the anterior superior iliac spine and patella using B-mode ultrasound. Light and moderate-to-vigorous PA (LPA and MVPA) were assessed with a triaxial accelerometer. The timed up and go (TUG) test was used to measure for functional mobility. EI, but not MT, was significantly associated with both TUG scores (β = 0.17, p = .047) and MVPA (β = -0.31, p = .01) when adjusted by potential confounders. However, association between EI and TUG disappeared after adjusted for MVPA. Meanwhile, MVPA was significantly associated with TUG scores independent of EI (β = -0.35, p < .001). Although EI of anterior thigh muscles might be a weaker predictor of functional morbidity than MVPA, it is a noninvasive and practical approach for assessing muscle quality in the very old.
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