Muscle cross-sectional area, force production and relaxation characteristics in women at different ages

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1991;62(6):410-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00626612.


Thirty women, divided among three different age groups, i.e. 30 years (range 26-35; n = 10), 50 years (range 46-55; n = 10) and 70 years (range 66-75; n = 10) volunteered as subjects for examination of the characteristics of the muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), maximal voluntary isometric force, isometric force-time and relaxation-time of their leg extensor muscles. The CSA of the quadriceps femoris muscle in the youngest age group was slightly larger (NS) than in the middle-aged group and much larger (P less than 0.01) than in the oldest age group whose CSA was markedly smaller (P less than 0.01) than the middle-aged group. Maximal force in the youngest group was slightly greater (NS) than in the middle-aged group and much greater (P less than 0.01) than in the oldest group whose values were markedly smaller (P less than 0.05) than the middle-aged group. The individual values in CSA correlated with maximal force both in the total subject sample (r = 0.82; P less than 0.001) and in the three age groups separately (r = 0.72; P less than 0.01; r = 0.86; P less than 0.01 and r = 0.67; P less than 0.05, respectively). When the force values were related to the CSA of the muscle, the mean values of 45.4, SD 5.6, 47.6, SD 5.0 and 46.8, SD 7.0 for the three groups did not differ significantly from each other.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Relaxation / physiology*
  • Muscles / physiology*