Musculoskeletal System

Bone mineral content declines with age; this aging process is known as 'osteopenia.' (It should be distinguished from the related pathological process in which bone architecture is altered, producing 'osteoporosis.') From the peak in the third and fourth decades, a 30% average decline in bone mineral density occurs through the ninth decade. In women, there is well-characterized acceleration of the rate of bone mineral loss immediately following the menopause. Decreasing levels of anabolic hormones may be associated with musculoskeletal atrophy and decrease in function that is observed in older women. This change in skeletal mineralization with aging is not associated with any apparent change in vitamin D nutriture as reflected in circulating levels of the vitamin.

The joints of the body undergo changes with the senescence of replacement of the cartilaginous substance, complicated by the pathological effects of cumulative use over the life span.

Recently, increasing attention has been given to the loss of muscle strength and substance with increasing age. Sarcopenia loss of lean body mass skeletal muscle mass replacement by fat mass Decreased creatinine-to-height ratio in normative aging in healthy subjects diminished grip strength is a function of age. [Reduction in muscle mass (sarcopenia obesity) is an important determinant of physical function and metabolic rate.]

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