Older people with an age-related loss of muscle mass and strength may be at greater risk of falling and bone fractures, according to new research led by the University of Southampton.

A team of researchers from the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand studied people aged 70 to 82 years. They found that those with sarcopenia, a condition in which muscles lose form and function with age, had reported higher numbers of falls in the past year and a higher prevalence of fractures.

“The findings enable us to more effectively predict those at increased risk of falls and fractures,” said the study’s lead author, Michael Clynes of Southampton’s Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit.

The study was published in Calcified Tissue International.