Our muscles decline with age for reasons that seem likely to soon be treatable. Finding ways to retain muscle mass and strength would hopefully allow older people to continue to be active and exercising, thus removing this contribution to the frailty that leads into a downward spiral of health in late life: "Changing demographics make it ever more important to understand the modifiable risk factors for disability and loss of independence with advancing age. For more than two decades there has been increasing interest in the role of sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle or lean mass, in curtailing active and healthy aging. There is now evidence to suggest that lack of strength, or dynapenia, is a more constant factor in compromised wellbeing in old age and it is apparent that the decline in muscle mass and the decline in strength can take quite different trajectories. ... An understanding of the impact of aging on skeletal muscle will require attention to both the changes in muscle size and the changes in muscle quality. ... Cross-sectional studies comparing young (18-45years) and old (older than 65years) samples show dramatic variation based on the technique used and population studied. The median of values of rate of loss reported across studies is 0.47% per year in men and 0.37% per year in women. Longitudinal studies show that in people aged 75years, muscle mass is lost at a rate of 0.64-0.70% per year in women and 0.80-00.98% per year in men. Strength is lost more rapidly. Longitudinal studies show that at age 75years, strength is lost at a rate of 3-4% per year in men and 2.5-3% per year in women. Studies that assessed changes in mass and strength in the same sample report a loss of strength 2-5 times faster than loss of mass. Loss of strength is a more consistent risk for disability and death than is loss of muscle mass."