Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 8, 2013
   Pages 1139 — 1148

Abstract — Body composition and physical function in women with multiple sclerosis

Christie L. Ward, MS;1 Yoojin Suh, PhD;2 Abbi D. Lane, PhD;3 Huimin Yan, MS;2 Sushant M. Ranadive, PhD;2 Bo Fernhall, PhD;3 Robert W. Motl, PhD;2 Ellen M. Evans, PhD1*

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; 2Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; 3Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

Abstract — Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) have reduced physical activity (PA) and lower-limb physical function and potentially disordered body composition compared with their peers without MS. The aim of this study was to determine whether PA and body composition were differentially associated with lower-limb physical function in persons with MS compared with controls. Females with MS and age- and body mass index-matched female controls (n = 51; average age 48.1 +/– 9.7 yr) were measured for PA with daily step counts, relative fat mass (%Fat), and leg lean mass (LM-LEG) via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and for lower-limb physical function with objective performance tests. Persons with MS had 12.5% to 53% poorer lower-limb physical function than controls (all p < 0.05). PA, %Fat, and LM-LEG to body mass ratio (LM-LEG/BM) were associated with lower-limb physical function in both persons with MS and controls (all p < 0.05). Based on median splits, higher %Fat, lower LM-LEG/BM, and MS conferred poorer lower-limb physical function (all p < 0.05). PA, %Fat, and LM-LEG/BM were associated with lower-limb physical function, suggesting that body composition, specifically reducing adiposity and increasing lean mass and/or increasing PA levels, may be a potential target for MS interventions.

Key words: 6-minute walk, adiposity, body composition, lean mass, multiple sclerosis, pedometer step counts, physical activity, physical function, weight status, women.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 8
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Ward CL, Suh Y, Lane AD, Yan H, Ranadive SM, Fernhall B, Motl RW, Evans EM. Body composition and physical function in women with multiple sclerosis. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(8):1139–48.

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