Low Muscle Mass is Commonly Found in People with Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease

by Mike Mutzel


There’s an epidemic of low-muscle mass that deserves more attention.

It has long been known that muscle weakness (e.g. poor grip strength) is correlated with shortened lifespan and all-cause mortality.

But a recent analysis in breast cancer patients and people with heart disease predicted a poorer prognosis in those with low muscle mass compared to high muscle mass.


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Morlino, D. et al. Prevalence of Sarcopenia in Women with Breast Cancer. Nutrients 14, 1839 (2022).
Jeznach-Steinhagen, A. et al. Higher Muscle Mass and Higher Serum Prealbumin Levels Are Associated with Better Survival in Hemodialysis Patients during a Five-Year Observation Period. Nutrients 15, 1237 (2023).


Key Takeaways:


00:36 Muscle enhances survivability from chronic disease.

01:10 There was a significant survival benefit from higher quantities of muscle. In chronic kidney disease.

02:00 Resistance training enhances longevity and prevents a variety of disease states.

02:10 Independent of fat mass, survival was higher in those with higher muscle mass.

02:45 Lower muscle mass reflected a worse survival rate in dialysis patients.

03:30 A sudden drop in albumin is an ominous marker, indicating lower survival rates.

07:20 Sarcopenia is found in 14% of breast cancer patients and 1 in 3 had pre-sarcopenia.

08:30 People with low muscle mass have a higher toxicity associated with chemotherapy drugs and have worse outcomes.

10:02 We need to prioritize protein, sleep, recovery, and intense physical activity that involves resistance training.

10:50 Loss of lean mass better predicts a cardiovascular event compared to fat gain.


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