OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that insulin-like growth factors-I and II (IGF-I and II) decline during late midlife and that greater declines are related to higher fat mass and lower lean mass.
METHODS: A total of 1,542 men and women in a British birth cohort study had IGF-I and II measured by immunoassay of blood samples at age 53 and/or 60-64 years. Fat mass, android:gynoid fat ratio, and appendicular lean mass were measured at 60-64 years using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Associations between changes in IGF-I or II and body composition outcomes were examined using conditional change linear regression models.
RESULTS: Mean IGF-I and IGF-II concentrations were lower at 60-64 than at 53 years, by 12.8% for IGF-I and by 12.5% for IGF-II. Larger declines in either IGF-I or II were associated with higher fat mass at 60-64 years. Although higher IGF-I at 53 years was associated with higher lean mass, there was little evidence linking changes in IGF-I or II to lean mass.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that IGF-I and II concentrations decline with age, and greater declines are associated with higher fat mass levels. These results provide some evidence for the suggested roles of IGF-I and II in regulating fat mass but not lean mass in older age.