Older adults with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) are at high risk of sarcopenia. Protein-rich nutritional composition supplementation (PS) combined with resistance exercise training (RET) improves muscle gains and facilitates physical activity in older adults. However, whether PS augments the effects of RET on muscle mass and PA in patients with KOA remains unclear. Therefore, this study identified the effects of PS on sarcopenic indices and PA in older women with KOA subjected to an RET program. Eligible older women aged 60–85 years and diagnosed as having KOA were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (EG) or the control group (CG). Both groups performed RET twice a week for 12 weeks. The EG received additional PS during this period. Outcome measures included appendicular lean mass index, walking speed, physical activity, and scores on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index—WOMAC). All measures were tested at baseline and after intervention. With participant characteristics and baseline scores as covariates, analysis of variance was performed to identify between-group differences in changes in all outcome measures after intervention. Statistical significance was defined as p < 0.05. Compared with the CG, the EG achieved greater changes in appendicular lean mass index (adjusted mean difference (aMD) = 0.19 kg/m2, p < 0.01), physical activity (aMD = 30.0 MET-hour/week, p < 0.001), walking speed (aMD = 0.09 m/s, p < 0.05), and WOMAC global function (aMD = −8.21, p < 0.001) after intervention. In conclusion, PS exerted augmentative effects on sarcopenic indices, physical activity, and perceived global WOMAC score in older women with KOA through 12 weeks of RET.
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