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Oxford University Press, The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 11(78), p. 2083-2093, 2023

DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glad052



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The Study of Muscle, Mobility and Aging (SOMMA): A Unique Cohort Study About the Cellular Biology of Aging and Age-related Loss of Mobility

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This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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Abstract Background The Study of Muscle, Mobility and Aging (SOMMA) aims to understand the biological basis of many facets of human aging, with a focus on mobility decline, by creating a unique platform of data, tissues, and images. Methods The multidisciplinary SOMMA team includes 2 clinical centers (University of Pittsburgh and Wake Forest University), a biorepository (Translational Research Institute at Advent Health), and the San Francisco Coordinating Center (California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute). Enrollees were age ≥70 years, able to walk ≥0.6 m/s (4 m); able to complete 400 m walk, free of life-threatening disease, and had no contraindications to magnetic resonance or tissue collection. Participants are followed with 6-month phone contacts and annual in-person exams. At baseline, SOMMA collected biospecimens (muscle and adipose tissue, blood, urine, fecal samples); a variety of questionnaires; physical and cognitive assessments; whole-body imaging (magnetic resonance and computed tomography); accelerometry; and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Primary outcomes include change in walking speed, change in fitness, and objective mobility disability (able to walk 400 m in 15 minutes and change in 400 m speed). Incident events, including hospitalizations, cancer diagnoses, fractures, and mortality are collected and centrally adjudicated by study physicians. Results SOMMA exceeded its goals by enrolling 879 participants, despite being slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic: 59.2% women; mean age 76.3 ± 5.0 years (range 70–94); mean walking speed 1.04 ± 0.20 m/s; 15.8% identify as other than Non-Hispanic White. Over 97% had data for key measurements. Conclusions SOMMA will provide the foundation for discoveries in the biology of human aging and mobility.