Sarcopenia is an age-related syndrome which is characterized by progressive and generalised loss of muscle mass and strength. How prevalent is sarcopenia? As there is a lack of consensus in the operational definition used to characterized the disorder, estimates vary widely in different clinical settings, and depending on the definition used.
Recent definitions have integrated information on muscle mass, strength, and physical function. A new systematic review by researchers at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, has now evaluated the epidemiology of these three distinct physiological components.
Specifically, the review highlights the similarities and differences between the patterns of variation in muscle mass, strength and physical function in regard to age, gender, geography, time, as well as the relation to individual risk factors. The review also describes how different approaches used to measure muscle mass, strength and function contribute to varying prevalence rates.
Lead author Professor Cyrus Cooper stated: "Sarcopenia contributes to the risk of physical frailty, functional impairment, poor health-related quality of life, and premature death in older people. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of muscle mass, strength and function is an important first step in achieving consensus in the definition of sarcopenia. This will allow us to better understand its prevalence, to determine clinically relevant thresholds for diagnosis, and ultimately, to enable the development of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies."
Cite This Page: