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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332424

Research Project: Nutrients, Aging, and Musculoskeletal Function

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Considerations concerning the definition of sarcopenia

Author
item Dawson-hughes, Bess - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Bischoff-ferrari, Heike - University Of Zurich

Submitted to: Osteoporosis International
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2016
Publication Date: 6/21/2016
Citation: Dawson-Hughes, B., Bischoff-Ferrari, H. 2016. Considerations concerning the definition of sarcopenia. Osteoporosis International. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-016-3674-8.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In this commentary, we describe the sarcopenia spectrum that results in frailty and consider the impact of several components of the frailty definition on its global prevalence. We review proposed operational definitions of sarcopenia the extent to which they have been shown to predict hard clinical outcomes, such as hip fracture, falls and mortality. A head to head comparison of 9 proposed operational definitions of sarcopenia as predictors of falls revealed that the definition involving appendicular lean mass (ALM)/ht2 alone was a significant predictor; the prevalence of sarcopenia by this definition was 11%. We consider the strengths and limitations of definitions that include functional measurements, such as gait speed and grip strength, along with measures of lean tissue mass. The functional assessments are harder to standardize than the more objective ALM measurements. The prevalence of sarcopenia by definitions that include functional and lean mass measurements tends to be lower than the prevalence by definitions that include lean mass alone. A low prevalence limits opportunity for early identification and application of prevention strategies. For these and other reasons, it seems advantageous to base the operational definition of sarcopenia on ALM/ht2 alone.