Chronic lower-limb edema (CLE) — the permanent accumulation of fluid in the leg — often occurs in elderly people. The condition leads to various physical and mental problems, including difficulty in walking or moving, fatigue and anxiety. One cause of CLE is the lack of physical activity, which is associated with a decrease in muscle pump action. The latter refers to the leg muscle’s acting as a blood pump: when contracted, the muscle squeezes veins together, forcing blood to flow. The question whether muscle pump action systematically changes with age has not been thoroughly investigated; now, Junko Sugama from Kanazawa University and colleagues have addressed this issue. In addition, they studied how leg posture affects muscle pump action.
For their study, Sugama and colleagues recruited a total of 76 healthy volunteers in three age categories: young, middle-aged and old, with average ages of 24, 47 and 72 years, respectively…
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