In collaboration with other investigators in the UK we have brought together data from a number of historical and contemporary cohorts. Muscle mass and strength in older people reflect not only the rate of loss but also the peak attained earlier in life (see figure). Traditionally studies of ageing skeletal muscle have focused on factors affecting decline in later life such as age, gender, body composition and lifestyle but the lifecourse approach additionally focuses attention on the determinants of peak attained in early adulthood such as size at birth and infant nutrition.

Grip Strength across the Life Course: Normative Data from Twelve British Studies

ADNFS Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey, ALSPAC Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, ELSA English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, HAS Hertfordshire Ageing Study, HCS Hertfordshire Cohort Study, LBC1921 and LBC1936 Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936, N85 Newcastle 85+ Study, NSHD Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, SWS Southampton Women’s Survey, SWSmp mothers and their partners from the SWS, T-07 West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study, UKHLS Understanding Society: the UK Household Panel Study.

(Dodds et alref8)