Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Gray, Michelle

Committee Member/Reader

Patton, Susan

Committee Member/Second Reader

Washington, Tyrone


Correlation Between Myostatin and Lean Muscle Mass in Older Adults.

Luedders, M., Gray, M., Patton, S., Washington, T., Binns, A. Exercise Science Research Center, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR.

Background: Our older adult population is growing exponentially and with it, the number of falls and debilitating injuries that afflict their population grows as well. A fall brings with it many possible injuries, healthcare costs, fear and increased mortality. There seems to be a lack of preventative measures in our healthcare system to help protect our elders. One possible measure is a simple blood test that looks at the level of myostatin in a patient’s blood. Myostatin is a negative regulator of muscle mass and therefore when myostatin is high muscle mass is low. Low muscle mass places older adults at an increased risk for falls, an inability to complete activities of daily living, and threatens their independence. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between the amount of myostatin a person has and their lean muscle mass. We hypothesized that if a participant has a high level of myostatin in their blood a healthcare provider could utilize that information to educate and implement preventative measures that protect existing muscle and decrease fall risk. Methodology: Subjects consisted of 15 males and 25 females between the ages 60-90 years. All procedures took place in the Exercise Science Research Center at the University of Arkansas. Each participant underwent a venous blood draw and a full body scan utilizing the dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Blood samples were analyzed using a myostatin ELISA test kit.

Results: There was a positive correlation between the levels of myostatin in the blood and the amount of lean muscle mass (r= 0.381). Therefore, as the myostatin increased in the blood the amount of lean muscle mass was increased as well. Discussion: The results of this study are contradictory to the hypothesis and other research in which muscle mass increased with a decrease in myostatin. The results suggest the need for a larger sample size that closely resembles the general population in age, sarcopenic status, and lean muscle mass. Future studies might also separate males and females to identify a difference in myostatin levels between the genders as we age.

Funding provided by Honors College Research Grant.

Word Count 348


geriatrics, falls, patient education, myostatin, muscle mass

Available for download on Monday, April 25, 2022