Muscle mass plays a key role in recovery from critical illness or severe trauma, whereas muscle strength and function is central to the recovery process.
Aging and muscle loss
Aging causes muscle mass and muscle strength to decrease. By age 75 years, approximately 50% of an individual’s total muscle mass has vanished.
Hospitalization and bed-rest accelerate muscle loss in elderly. Recent studies by Kortebein and Paddon-Jones showed that hospitalized elderly patients lost approximately 10% of lower leg muscle mass in only three days!
Many elderly people have to use all their muscle power to rise from a chair, and even a small impairment in muscle function may dramatically change their rehabilitation capacity.