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The aim of this study was to develop reference ranges for total and appendicular lean mass measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) from a randomly selected population-based sample of men and women residing in southeastern Australia. Men (n = 1,411) and women (n = 960) aged 20–93 years, enrolled in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study, were randomly selected from the Barwon Statistical Division using the electoral roll as a sampling frame in 2001–2006 (67 % participation) and 1993–1997 (77 % participation), respectively. Using DXA (Lunar DPX-L or Prodigy Pro) at baseline for men and at the 10-year follow-up for women (2004–2008), total and appendicular lean mass were measured. Means and standard deviations for each lean mass measure (absolute and relative to height squared) were generated for each age decade, and cutpoints equivalent to T scores of −2.0 and −1.0 were calculated using data from young adult men and women aged 20–39 years. Young adult reference data were derived from 374 men and 308 women. Cutpoints for relative appendicular lean mass equal to T scores of −2.0 and −1.0 were 6.94 and 7.87 kg/m2 for men and 5.30 and 6.07 kg/m2 for women. The proportions of men and women aged ≥80 years with a T score less than −2.0 were 16.0 and 6.2 %, respectively. These reference ranges may be useful for identifying lean mass deficits in the assessment of muscle wasting and sarcopenia.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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