Influence of age and height on nerve conduction

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Abstract

Previous studies demonstrated age- and height-related slowing of nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and reduction in nerve response amplitude. Unfortunately, many studies examined discontinuous populations, preventing regression analysis. The correlation coefficients of available studies vary widely, preventing clear conclusions. We retrospectively examined 3969 clinically normal subjects ranging in age from 20 to 95 years from a total of 22,420 electrodiagnostic studies done between 1986 and 1998. The correlation of NCV with height was stronger than with age. Regression equations using both factors account for 12–27% of the variance. Responses were seen in the majority of patients aged 70 years and older, but the percentage of normals who had no response increased with advancing age. Age was strongly inversely correlated with the amplitudes of both sensory and motor responses, accounting for 7–16% of the variance. Regression equations using both height and age improved this correlation, accounting for 7–22% of the variance. Therefore, both height and age must be taken into consideration when normal values are developed. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Muscle Nerve 24: 1134–1141, 2001

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