One of the principal areas of my research has been the examination of the causes of late life disability. My research has examined the functional and metabolic consequences of physical activity in elderly people as well as how dietary protein and energy needs change with advancing age. I was the first to describe the condition called sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. Sarcopenia is a multifactorial problem resulting from a number of factors including decreased physical activity, decreased testosterone, estrogen, and growth hormone production, increasing insulin resistance, and poor diet. My research has also demonstrated that older people lose muscle mass and strength far more rapidly than do young people during enforce bed rest. These factors result in an increased risk of disability, falls, hospitalization, and institutionalization. The loss of muscle mass is also a common consequence of many chronic diseases such as cancer, chronic heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Skeletal muscle is remarkably responsive to changes in nutritional status and physical activity. Decreased dietary protein intake can result in a rapid loss of muscle and low protein intake among elderly people may be one cause of sarcopenia. We have also demonstrated that the need for dietary protein increases with advancing age. In collaboration with the Hellerstein laboratory, we are exploring changes in muscle mass in infants and children during normal growth and elderly people using a new and accurate method to measure muscle mass. Our goals are to examine how feeding strategies in malnourished infants and children effect accretion of muscle mass as well as how muscle mass effects health outcomes in all populations.
Shankaran, M, TW Shearer, SA Stimpson, SM Turner, C King, PA Wong, Y Shen, PS Turnbull, F Kramer, L Clifton, A Russell, MK Hellerstein, and WJ Evans, Proteome-wide muscle protein fractional synthesis rates predict muscle mass gain in response to a selective androgen receptor modulator in rats, Am J Physiol Endocrionol Metab, 2016 Mar 15;310(6):E405-17
Coker, RH, NP Hays, RW Williams, RR Wolfe, and WJ Evans, Bed rest promotes reductions in walking speed, functional parameters, and aerobic fitness in older, healthy adults, J Gerontol: Med Sci, 2015 Jan;70(1):91-6.
Clark, RV, AC Walker, RL O’Connor-Semmes, MS Leonard, RR Miller, SA Stimpson, SM Turner, E Ravussin, WT Cefalu, MK Hellerstein, and WJ Evans, Total body skeletal muscle mass: estimation by creatine (methyl-d3) dilution in humans J Appl Physiol. 2014 15;116(12):1605-13
Fiser, WM, NP Hays, SC Rogers, O Kajkenova, AE Williams, CM Evans, and WJ Evans, Energetics of walking in elderly people: factors related to gait speed, J. Gerontol. Med Sci. 65: 1332-1337, 2010.
Coker, RH, RH Williams, SE. Yeo, PM Kortebein, DL Bodenner, PA Kern, and WJ Evans, Exercise Training versus Caloric Restriction: Impact on Hepatic and Peripheral Insulin Resistance, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 94: 4256-4266, 2009.
Ferrando, AA, D Paddon-Jones, NP Hays, P Kortebein, O Ronsen, RH Williams, A McComb, TB Symons, RR Wolfe, and WJ Evans, EAA supplementation to increase nitrogen intake improves muscle function during bed rest in the elderly, Clin Nutr , 29:18-23, 2010
Coker, R, R Williams, S Yeo, P Kortebein, D Bodener, P Kern, and W Evans, Influence of exercise intensity on abdominal fat and adiponectin in elderly adults, Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 7: 363-368, 2009.
Kortebein, P, TB Symons, A Ferrando, D Paddon-Jones, O Ronsen MD, E Protas,, S Conger, J Lombeida, R Wolfe, WJ Evans, Functional impact of ten days bed rest in healthy older adults, J. Gerontol. Med Sci. 63: 1076-1081, 2008.
Turley, KR, JR Bland, and WJ Evans, Effects of different doses of caffeine on exercise responses in young children, Med Sci Sports Exerc 40: 871- 878, 2008.
Kortebein, P, A Ferrando, J Lombeida, RR Wolfe, and WJ Evans, Effect of ten days of bed rest on skeletal muscle in older adults JAMA 297: 1772-1774, 2007
Hays, NP, RD Starling, DH. Sullivan,JD Fluckey, RH Coker, RH Williams, and WJ Evans Effects of an ad libitum high carbohydrate diet and aerobic exercise training on insulin action and muscle metabolism in older men and women, J. Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sc. 61: 299-304, 2006.
Uc, EY, LK. Struck, RL. Rodnitzky, B Zimmerman, J Dobson, and WJ. Evans, Predictors of Weight Loss in Parkinson’s Disease, Movement Disorders, 21: 930-936, 2006.
Evans, WJ, DP Kotler, S Staszewski, GE Griffin, J Isgaard, JM Gertner, F O’Brien and E Svanberg, Effect of recombinant human growth hormone on exercise capacity in patients with HIV-associated wasting on highly active antiretroviral therapy: The AIDS Reader, 15(6):301-3, 306-8, 310, 314, 2005.
Hays, NP, RD Starling, X Liu, DH Sullivan, TA Trappe, JD Fluckey, and WJ Evans, Effects of an ad libitum, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet on body weight, body composition, and fat distribution in older men and women: a randomized controlled trial, Archives of Internal Medicine 164: 210-217, 2004.
Uc EY, CP Lambert, SI Harik, RL Rodnitzky, and WJ Evans, Albuterol improves response to levodopa and increases skeletal muscle mass in patients with fluctuating Parkinson's disease, Clinical Neuropharmacology.25: 207-212, 2003.
Trappe, T. A., F White, CP Lambert, M Hellerstein, and WJ Evans, Influence of ibuprofen and acetaminophen on skeletal muscle protein synthesis following eccentric resistance exercise, Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab 282, E542-E550, 2002
Trappe, TA, JD Fluckey, F White, CP Lambert, and WJ Evans, Skeletal muscle PGF2a and PGE2 in response to eccentric resistance exercise: Influence of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 86: 5067 – 5070, 2001.
Fiatarone Singh, MA, W Ding, TJ Manfredi, G Solares, EF O’Neill, KM Clements, ND Ryan, RA Fielding, and WJ Evans, Insulin-like grow factor I in skeletal muscle after weight-lifting exercise in frail elders, Am. J. Physiol. 277: E135-E143, 1999.
Fiatarone MA, EF O'Neill, N Doyle ,KM Clements, SB Roberts,JJ Kehayias ,LA Lipsitz, WJ Evans The Boston FICSIT study: The effects of resistance training and nutritional supplementation on physical frailty in the oldest old. J Am Geriatr Soc 1993;41:333-337.
Roberts, SB, P Fuss, MB Heyman WJ Evans R Tsay H Rasmussen M Fiatarone J Cortiella, GE Dallal, and VR Young, Impaired control of food intake and energy regulation in elderly men, JAMA 272: 1601-1606, 1994.
Fiatarone, MA, EF O'Neill, N Doyle, KM Clements, GR Solares, SB Roberts, JJ Kehayias, LA Lipsitz, and WJ Evans, Exercise training and nutritional supplementation for physical frailty in very elderly people, N. Engl. J. Med. 330: 1769-1775, 1994.
M. Hellerstein and W Evans: Recent advances for measurement of protein synthesis rates, use of the ‘Virtual Biopsy’ approach, and measurement of muscle mass, Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care, 20: (epub ahead of print: DOI 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000370), 2017.
Evans, WJ, Invited Commentary: Sarcopenia should reflect the contribution of age-associated changes in skeletal muscle to risk of morbidity and mortality in elderly people, J Am Med Dir Assoc 16: 546-7, 2015.
Evans, WJ, Invited Commentary: Oxygen carrying proteins and risk of diabetes, JAMA INTERN MED, published online, 6/17/2013.
Evans, WJ, V Boaccardi, and G Paolisso, Perspective: Dietary protein needs of elderly people; protein supplement as an effective strategy to counteract sarcopenia, J Am Med Dir Assoc 14: 67-69, 2013.
Evans, WJ, Dietary factors related to frailty and reduced functional capacity, Chapter 64, Handbook of Nutrition and Food, Third Edition, Editor, David Heber, (in press) 2013.
Evans, WJ, Muscle and Bone Interactions: Effects of Sarcopenia, In: Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism, 8th Edition, Editor, Clifford Rosen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, In Press, 2013.
Evans, WJ, Drug Discovery and Development for Ageing: Opportunities and Challenges, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 366: 113-119, 2011.
Evans, WJ, Paolisso, G., A. M. Abbatecola, A. Corsonello, S. Bustacchini, F. Strollo, and F. Lattanzio, Frailty and muscle metabolism dysregulation in the elderly, Biogerontology 11: 527-536, 2010.
Evans, WJ, Skeletal muscle loss: cachexia, sarcopenia, and inactivity, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 91: 1123S-1127S, 2010.
Evans, WJ and C.P. Lambert, Physiological Basis of Fatigue, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 86: S29-S46, 2007.
Evans, WJ, Strategies to prevent late-life dysfunction and chronic disease in elderly people, in Saving Dollars, Saving Lives: The Importance of Prevention in Curing Medicare, Hearing before the Special Committee on Aging, US Senate, U.S. Government Printing Office, Serial No. 109-11, pp 37-42, 2006.
Evans, WJ and P. A. Farrell, The Aging Pancreas: Effects of age on insulin action and secretion, The Endocrine Pancreas and Regulation of Metabolism, Volume II, Handbook of Physiology, American Physiological Society, Oxford University Press, L. Jefferson and A. Cherrington, editors, Chapter 32, 2001.
Evans, WJ, What is sarcopenia?, J. Geront. 50A (Special Issue: Workshop in Sarcopenia): 5-8, 1995.
Evans, WJ, Effects of exercise on body composition and functional capacity in the elderly, J. Geront.50A (Special Issue: Workshop in Sarcopenia): 5-8, 1995.