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01.12.2017 | Research Article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2017

Trajectories of the relationships of physical activity with body composition changes in older men: the MrOS study

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2017
Deepika R. Laddu, Peggy M. Cawthon, Neeta Parimi, Andrew R. Hoffman, Eric Orwoll, Iva Miljkovic, Marcia L. Stefanick, for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Research Group
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12877-017-0506-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Excess adiposity gains and significant lean mass loss may be risk factors for chronic disease in old age. Long-term patterns of change in physical activity (PA) and their influence on body composition decline during aging has not been characterized. We evaluated the interrelationships of PA and body composition at the outset and over longitudinal follow-up to changes in older men.


Self-reported PA by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), clinic body weight, and whole-body lean mass (LM) and fat mass, by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), were assessed in 5964 community-dwelling men aged ≥65 years at baseline (2000–2002) and at two subsequent clinic visits up until March 2009 (an average 4.6 and 6.9 years later). Group-based trajectory modeling (GBTM) identified patterns of change in PA and body composition variables. Relationships of PA and body composition changes were then assessed.


GBTM identified three discrete trajectory patterns, all with declining PA, associated primarily with initial PA levelshigh-activity (7.2% of men), moderate-activity (50.0%), and low-activity (42.8%). In separate models, GBTM identified eight discrete total weight change groups, five fat mass change groups, and six LM change groups. Joint trajectory modeling by PA and body composition group illustrated significant declines in total weight and LM, whereas fat mass levels were relatively unchanged among high-activity and low-activity-declining groups, and significantly increased in the moderate-activity-declining group.


Although patterns of change in PA and body composition were identified, groups were primarily differentiated by initial PA or body composition rather than by distinct trajectories of change in these variables.
Additional file 1: Figure S1. Flow Chart describing MrOS sample size for Trajectory Analysis. This figure describes, total sample size of men included from each study visit, and specifically, the sample of men with non missing values for the body composition and PASE score. A description of how the Proc Traj methods accommodates missing data into the trajectory building is also provided. Table S1. Declining Patterns of Body Composition Changes From Visit 1 to Visit 3 (2000 to 2009). This table reports the individual patterns of change in body weight, lean mass, and fat mass, according to the most parsimonious model of eight body weight trajectories, five fat mass trajectories groups and six lean mass trajectories, respectively. (DOCX 30 kb)
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