Muscle Weakness among Older Adults: A Silent Epidemic

Philippa J. Clarke
Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health


This pilot project charts new territory in investigating the long-term health consequences of dynapenia to: 1) predict whether individuals who fall below these proposed cut-points are at risk for developing future negative health outcomes; 2) examine proposed cut-points in predicting future health risks above and beyond traditional indicators of morbidity and mortality; and 3) understand the role obesity may play in exacerbating future negative health outcomes among those who are considered weak.


  • Duchowny, K., Clarke, P.J., Peterson, M.D. Muscle weakness and physical disability in older Americans: Longitudinal findings from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. 2018;22(4):501–507 PMID: 29582889 PMCID: PMC6472265.
  • Duchowny, K., Peterson, M.D., Alexander, N.A. & Clarke, P.J. Cut Points for Clinical Muscle Weakness Among Older Americans. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2017;53(1), 63-69. PMID: 28190692 PMCID: PMC5497994.
  • Duchowny, K. & Clarke P. 2018. Muscle weakness among older adults: A silent epidemic. 1st annual MiCDA Pilot Project Symposium. May 7, 2018, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Weakness in Older Americans: Sex/Race-specific Cutpoints and Prevalence Estimates from the Health and Retirement Study. K Duchowny, M Peterson, PJ Clarke. Presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. November, 2015, Orlando, FL.