The objective of the study was to investigate the association between metabolic syndrome (MS) and muscle strength in community-dwelling older men and women in Korea. Korean men and women 65 years and older living in a single, typical South Korean city (n = 647) were enrolled in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging study. The diagnosis of MS was evaluated according to the definition of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. Isokinetic muscle strength of the knee extensors, as determined by peak torque per body weight (newton meter per kilogram) and hand-grip strength per body weight (newton per kilogram), was measured. Participants without MS had greater leg muscle strength and grip strength per weight. The effect of MS on muscle strength was more prominent in men than in women in our study population. Only men showed a significant interaction between MS and age for muscle strength (P = .014), and the effect was greater in men aged 65 to 74 years compared with those older than 75 years (119.2 ± 31.2 vs 134.5 ± 24.3 N m/kg). Participants with MS had weaker knee extensor strength after controlling the covariates (β = -90.80, P = .003), and the interaction term (age × MS × male sex) was significant (β = 1.00, P = .017). Metabolic syndrome is associated with muscle weakness, and this relationship is particularly pronounced in men. Age can modify the impact of MS on muscle strength. Men aged 65 to 74 years with MS need a thorough assessment of muscle strength to prevent disability.
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