Effect of age on voluntary force and cross-sectional area of human adductor pollicis muscle

Q J Exp Physiol. 1989 May;74(3):359-62. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.1989.sp003278.


Muscle weakness accompanies ageing but its causes are still uncertain. We report maximum voluntary force measurements of adductor pollicis muscle, normalized for cross-sectional area, in twenty-three elderly subjects. Normalized force was lower in the elderly compared with a group of fifty-five young adult subjects by 27 +/- 4% (S.E.M.). This shows that atrophy alone is not the cause of the weakness of old age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle Development*
  • Muscles / physiology