The effects of age, gender, and body mass index on amplitude of sensory nerve action potentials: multivariate analyses.Clin Neurophysiol. 2009 Sep; 120(9):1683-6.CN
Previous studies have shown that age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) affect amplitude of sensory nerve action potentials (SNAP), but the total effects of multiple factors or the most prominently affected nerves have not been elucidated. This study systematically investigated effects of these factors.
Amplitude of SNAP of the median, ulnar, superficial radial, superficial peroneal, and sural nerves was measured in 105 healthy subjects. The effects of age, gender, and BMI on each nerve were estimated by multivariate linear regression analysis.
SNAP amplitude decreased with age in all five nerves. Women had greater SNAP amplitude than men in the upper limb nerves (median, ulnar, and radial), but not in the lower limb nerves (peroneal and sural). Similarly, greater BMI was associated with smaller amplitudes in the upper limb nerves, but not in the lower limb nerves. Multivariate analyses showed the three factors explained 50% of the variation in the median nerve, 46% in the ulnar nerve, and 22-32% in the remaining nerves.
The effects of age, gender, and BMI on SNAP amplitudes are not identical in different sensory nerves. Age was strongly correlated with SNAP amplitude in the nerves tested, whereas gender and BMI affect amplitudes only in the upper limb nerves.
Age, gender, and BMI should be taken into account in clinical practice, but the extent of influence depends on the sensory nerves examined.