Frailty and sarcopenia are characterized by a loss of muscle mass and functionality and are diagnosed mainly by functional tests and imaging parameters. However, more muscle specific biomarkers are needed to improve frailty diagnosis. Plasma 3-methylhistidine (3-MH), as well as the 3-MH-to-creatinine (3-MH/Crea) and 3-MH-to-estimated glomerular filtration rate (3-MH/eGFR) ratios might support the diagnosis of frailty. Therefore, we investigated the cross-sectional associations between plasma 3-MH, 3-MH/Crea and 3-MH/eGFR with the frailty status of community-dwelling individuals (>65 years). 360 participants from two French cohorts of the FRAILOMIC initiative were classified into robust, pre-frail and frail according to Fried’s frailty criteria. General linear models as well as bivariate and multiple linear and logistic regression models, which were adjusted for several confounders, were applied to determine associations between biomarkers and frailty status. The present study consisted of 37.8% robust, 43.1% pre-frail and 19.2% frail participants. Frail participants had significantly higher plasma 3-MH, 3-MH/Crea and 3-MH/eGFR ratios than robust individuals, and these biomarkers were positively associated with frailty status. Additionally, the likelihood to be frail was significantly higher for every increase in 3-MH (1.31-fold) and 3-MH/GFR (1.35-fold) quintile after adjusting for confounders. We conclude that 3-MH, 3-MH/Crea and 3-MH/eGFR in plasma might be potential biomarkers to identify frail individuals or those at higher risk to be frail, and we assume that there might be biomarker thresholds to identify these individuals. However, further, especially longitudinal studies are needed.
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