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1.  Lifestyle and Sarcopenia—Etiology, Prevention, and Treatment 
The term sarcopenia describes the loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function in old age. As the world population continues to grow older, more attention is given to the phenomena of sarcopenia and the search for strategies of prevention and treatment. The progression of sarcopenia is affected by age-related physiological and systemic changes in the body, including alterations in skeletal muscle tissue, hormonal changes, increased inflammatory activities, and oxidative stress. Sarcopenia progression is also affected by lifestyle factors which are far more controllable. These factors include various aspects of nutrition, physical activity, exercise, alcohol intake, and tobacco use. Raising the public awareness regarding the impact of these factors, as causes of sarcopenia and potential strategies of prevention and treatment, is of great importance. In this review we aim to describe various lifestyle factors that affect the etiology, prevention, and treatment of sarcopenia.
PMCID: PMC3678825  PMID: 23908848
Alcohol intake; cigarette smoking; exercise; nutrition; physical activity; sarcopenia
2.  Association between Sarcopenia, Bone Density, and Health-Related Quality of Life in Korean Men 
Korean Journal of Family Medicine  2013;34(4):281-288.
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass leading to decreased muscle strength, physical disability, and increased mortality. The genesis of both sarcopenia and osteoporosis is multifactorial, and several factors that play a role in osteoporosis are thought to contribute to sarcopenia. This study evaluated the association between sarcopenia and bone density and health-related quality of life in Korean men.
We used the data of 1,397 men over 50 years of age from the 2009 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Sarcopenia was defined as the appendicular skeletal muscle mass divided by height2 (kg/m2) < 2 standard deviations below the sex-specific mean for young adults. Health-related quality of life was measured by the EuroQol-5 dimension (EQ-5D) instrument. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between sarcopenia, bone density, and health-related quality of life.
The T-score of the lumbar spine, total femur, and femur neck in bone mineral density in subjects with sarcopenia were lower than those in subjects without sarcopenia. The score of the EQ-5D index was significantly lower and the rate of having problems with individual components of health-related quality of life was higher in the sarcopenic group. After adjustment for age and body mass index, the odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence interval [CI]) for sarcopenia were 2.06 (1.07-3.96) in osteopenic subjects and 3.49 (1.52-8.02) in osteoporotic subjects, respectively. After adjustment, the total score of the EQ-5D index was significantly lower in the sarcopenic subjects. The ORs (95% CI) for having problems of mobility and usual activity of the EQ-5D descriptive system were 1.70 (1.02-2.84) and 1.90 (1.09-3.31), respectively.
Sarcopenia was associated with decreased bone mineral density in Korean men. In addition, sarcopenia was related to poor quality of life, especially with regard to mobility and usual activity. Greater attention to and evaluation for sarcopenia are needed in subjects showing low bone mineral density to prevent and manage poor quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3726796  PMID: 23904958
Sarcopenia; Osteoporosis; Metabolic Bone Diseases; Quality of Life
3.  The epidemiology of sarcopenia in community living older adults: what role does lifestyle play? 
Sarcopenia, the age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass and function, is a relatively poorly understood process which may play an important role in the incidence of physical disability and falls in older adults. Evidence demonstrates that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to increased susceptibility for sarcopenia development, yet some of these factors may represent unavoidable consequences of ageing.
A review of literature, generally from epidemiological research, was performed to examine the influence that potentially modifiable lifestyle factors (general physical activity, dietary nutrient intake and sun exposure), as well as chronic disease and medication use, may have on sarcopenia progression.
The review demonstrated that while physical activity, nutrient intake and sun exposure often decline during ageing, each may have important but differing benefits for the prevention of muscle mass and functional declines in older adults. Conversely, age-related increases in the prevalence of chronic diseases and the subsequent prescription of pharmacotherapy may exacerbate sarcopenia progression.
The prevalence of poor physical activity, diet and sun exposure, as well as chronic disease and medication use, within older adult populations may be modifiable through simple lifestyle and health care interventions. As such, these factors may represent the most effective targets for sarcopenia prevention during the ageing process.
PMCID: PMC3177044  PMID: 21966639
Sarcopenia; Epidemiology; Physical activity; Diet; Vitamin D; Chronic disease
4.  The epidemiology of sarcopenia in community living older adults: what role does lifestyle play? 
Sarcopenia, the age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass and function, is a relatively poorly understood process which may play an important role in the incidence of physical disability and falls in older adults. Evidence demonstrates that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to increased susceptibility for sarcopenia development, yet some of these factors may represent unavoidable consequences of ageing.
A review of literature, generally from epidemiological research, was performed to examine the influence that potentially modifiable lifestyle factors (general physical activity, dietary nutrient intake and sun exposure), as well as chronic disease and medication use, may have on sarcopenia progression.
The review demonstrated that while physical activity, nutrient intake and sun exposure often decline during ageing, each may have important but differing benefits for the prevention of muscle mass and functional declines in older adults. Conversely, age-related increases in the prevalence of chronic diseases and the subsequent prescription of pharmacotherapy may exacerbate sarcopenia progression.
The prevalence of poor physical activity, diet and sun exposure, as well as chronic disease and medication use, within older adult populations may be modifiable through simple lifestyle and health care interventions. As such, these factors may represent the most effective targets for sarcopenia prevention during the ageing process.
PMCID: PMC3177044  PMID: 21966639
Sarcopenia; Epidemiology; Physical activity; Diet; Vitamin D; Chronic disease
5.  Clinical definition of sarcopenia 
Sarcopenia is a condition characterized by loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. Although it is primarily a disease of the elderly, its development may be associated with conditions that are not exclusively seen in older persons. Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is strictly correlated with physical disability, poor quality of life and death. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender and level of physical activity. In conditions such as malignancy, rheumatoid arthritis and aging, lean body mass is lost while fat mass may be preserved or even increased. The loss in muscle mass may be associated with increased body fat so that despite normal weight there is marked weakness, this is a condition called sarcopenic obesity. There is an important correlation between inactivity and losses of muscle mass and strength, this suggests that physical activity should be a protective factor for the prevention but also the management of sarcopenia. Furthermore one of the first step to be taken for a person with sarcopenia or clinical frailty is to ensure that the sarcopenic patient is receiving correct and sufficient nutrition. Sarcopenia has a greater effect on survival. It should be important to prevent or postpone as much as possible the onset of this condition, to enhance survival and to reduce the demand for long-term care. Interventions for sarcopenia need to be developed with most attention on exercise and nutritional interventions.
PMCID: PMC4269139  PMID: 25568649
sarcopenia; epidemiology; weakness; sarcopenic obesity
6.  Novel Insights on Nutrient Management of Sarcopenia in Elderly 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:524948.
Sarcopenia is defined as a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of muscle mass and strength. The more rationale approach to delay the progression of sarcopenia is based on the combination of proper nutrition, possibly associated with the use of dietary supplements and a regular exercise program. We performed a narrative literature review to evaluate the till-now evidence regarding (1) the metabolic and nutritional correlates of sarcopenia; (2) the optimum diet therapy for the treatment of these abnormalities. This review included 67 eligible studies. In addition to the well recognized link between adequate intake of proteins/amino acids and sarcopenia, the recent literature underlines that in sarcopenic elderly subjects there is an unbalance in vitamin D synthesis and in omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio. Given the detrimental effect of these metabolic abnormalities, a change in the lifestyle must be the cornerstone in the treatment of sarcopenia. The optimum diet therapy for the sarcopenia treatment must aim at achieving specific metabolic goals, which must be reached through accession of the elderly to specific personalized dietary program aimed at achieving and/or maintaining muscle mass; increasing their intake of fish (4 times/week) or taking omega-3 PUFA supplements; taking vitamin D supplementation, if there are low serum levels.
PMCID: PMC4326274
7.  Posttransplant Sarcopenia: An Underrecognized Early Consequence of Liver Transplantation 
Digestive diseases and sciences  2013;58(11):3103-3111.
Liver transplantation is believed to reverse the clinical and metabolic abnormalities of cirrhosis. Reduced skeletal muscle mass or sarcopenia contributes to increased mortality and adverse consequences of cirrhosis. Failure of reversal of sarcopenia of cirrhosis after liver transplantation is not well recognized. Six temporally, geographically, and methodologically distinct follow-up studies in 304 cirrhotics reported conflicting data on changes in indirect measures of skeletal muscle mass after transplantation. Distinct measures of body composition but not skeletal muscle mass were used and did not focus on the clinical consequences of sarcopenia after transplantation. A number of studies reported an initial rapid postoperative loss of lean mass followed by incomplete recovery with a maximum follow-up of 2 years. Posttransplant sarcopenia may be responsible for metabolic syndrome and impaired quality of life after liver transplantation. Potential reasons for failure to reverse sarcopenia after liver transplantation include use of immunosuppressive agents [mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and calcineurin inhibitors] that impair skeletal muscle growth and protein accretion. Repeated hospitalizations, posttransplant infections, and renal failure also contribute to posttransplant sarcopenia. Finally, recovery from muscle deconditioning is limited by lack of systematic nutritional and physical-activity-based interventions to improve muscle mass. Despite the compelling data on sarcopenia before liver transplantation, the impact of posttransplant sarcopenia on clinical outcomes is not known. There is a compelling need for studies to examine the mechanisms and consequences of sarcopenia post liver transplantation to permit development of therapies to prevent and reverse this disorder.
PMCID: PMC4066193  PMID: 23912247
Posttransplant sarcopenia; Cirrhosis; Liver transplantation; Immunosuppressants
8.  New horizons in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of sarcopenia 
Age and Ageing  2013;42(2):145-150.
Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. It is now recognised as a major clinical problem for older people and research in the area is expanding exponentially. One of the most important recent developments has been convergence in the operational definition of sarcopenia combining measures of muscle mass and strength or physical performance. This has been accompanied by considerable progress in understanding of pathogenesis from animal models of sarcopenia. Well-described risk factors include age, gender and levels of physical activity and this knowledge is now being translated into effective management strategies including resistance exercise with recent interest in the additional role of nutritional intervention. Sarcopenia is currently a major focus for drug discovery and development although there remains debate about the best primary outcome measure for trials, and various promising avenues to date have proved unsatisfactory. The concept of ‘new tricks for old drugs’ is, however, promising, for example, there is some evidence that the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors may improve physical performance. Future directions will include a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of sarcopenia and the application of a lifecourse approach to understanding aetiology as well as to informing the optimal timing of interventions.
PMCID: PMC3575121  PMID: 23315797
sarcopenia; skeletal muscle; ageing; pathogenesis; diagnosis; exercise; nutrition; drug treatment; life course; epidemiology; older people
9.  Muscle tissue changes with aging 
Purpose of review
This review article focuses on the changes that occur in muscle with age, specifically the involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength and function, termed sarcopenia. Particular emphasis is given to the metabolic alterations that characterize sarcopenia, and to the potentially treatable causes of this condition, including age-related endocrine and nutritional changes, and inactivity.
Recent findings
Recent data reported include those regarding the potential role of insulin resistance in the development of sarcopenia, the potential role of androgens and growth hormone in the treatment of this condition, the usefulness of exercise including both resistance and aerobic training to improve muscle growth and function, and, finally, the possible use of nutritional manipulations to improve muscle mass.
Sarcopenia is likely a multifactorial condition that impairs physical function and predisposes to disability. It may be prevented or treated with lifestyle interventions and pharmacological treatment. Further long-term investigations are needed, however, to ascertain what type and combinations of interventions are the most efficacious in improving muscle mass and function in older people.
PMCID: PMC2804956  PMID: 15192443
aging; muscle; sarcopenia; nutrition; exercise; hormones; metabolism
10.  Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis 
Age and Ageing  2010;39(4):412-423.
The European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) developed a practical clinical definition and consensus diagnostic criteria for age-related sarcopenia. EWGSOP included representatives from four participant organisations, i.e. the European Geriatric Medicine Society, the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics—European Region and the International Association of Nutrition and Aging. These organisations endorsed the findings in the final document.
The group met and addressed the following questions, using the medical literature to build evidence-based answers: (i) What is sarcopenia? (ii) What parameters define sarcopenia? (iii) What variables reflect these parameters, and what measurement tools and cut-off points can be used? (iv) How does sarcopenia relate to cachexia, frailty and sarcopenic obesity?
For the diagnosis of sarcopenia, EWGSOP recommends using the presence of both low muscle mass + low muscle function (strength or performance). EWGSOP variously applies these characteristics to further define conceptual stages as ‘presarcopenia’, ‘sarcopenia’ and ‘severe sarcopenia’. EWGSOP reviewed a wide range of tools that can be used to measure the specific variables of muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance. Our paper summarises currently available data defining sarcopenia cut-off points by age and gender; suggests an algorithm for sarcopenia case finding in older individuals based on measurements of gait speed, grip strength and muscle mass; and presents a list of suggested primary and secondary outcome domains for research.
Once an operational definition of sarcopenia is adopted and included in the mainstream of comprehensive geriatric assessment, the next steps are to define the natural course of sarcopenia and to develop and define effective treatment.
PMCID: PMC2886201  PMID: 20392703
sarcopenia; elderly; muscle strength; muscle mass; physical performance
11.  Assessing sarcopenic prevalence and risk factors in residential aged care: methodology and feasibility 
Sarcopenia is a significant geriatric syndrome with both health care expenditure and personal burden. Most recently, the European Working Group in Sarcopenia in Older Adults has established a consensus definition and assessment criteria for sarcopenia that includes a below-normal muscle mass and muscle function (either or both of below-normal muscle strength and physical performance). Using these criteria, work is needed to identify the prevalence and risk factors among the old, and those most susceptible to sarcopenia, the very old. This manuscript describes the recruitment and data collection methodology, and direct burden to participants, among a very old cohort residing in a residential aged care (RAC) setting.
Eleven RAC facilities participated in the study. Potential participants were identified by the facility service manager and then randomised into the study. All participants gave self or substitute decision maker consent. Participants undertook a single one on one assessment that included measures of sarcopenia, functional capacity, cognitive and nutritional health, falls, activity, facility and hospital history, physical activity and assessment burden. A sub-study of physical activity and sedentary behaviours measured by activPAL3™ inclinometer was also conducted.
Of 709 residents, 328 were ineligible to participate. Two hundred and seventy-three residents were randomised to the study and 102 gave informed or substitute decision maker consent. Participants were 84.5 ± 8.2 years of age and had been in care for 1,204.2 ± 1,220.1 days. The groups need for care was high (Aged Care Funding Instrument score of 2.6 ± 1.7) and they had a below-normal functional (Short Physical Performance Battery summery score of 3.5 ± 2.4). The larger percentage of participants had no depression and normal cognitive capacity. A total of 33 residents participated in the activPAL study. Each assessment took an average of 27.0 ± 7.0 min, with a low assessment burden reported by participants.
The successful assessment of sarcopenia and physical activity in a RAC setting is labour intensive to establish, but feasible to conduct. Low recruitment numbers and the restrictive exclusion criteria, may have limited the accuracy of this work. However, this work is a primary step in establishing the level of sarcopenia and its risk factors for those in end-of-life care.
PMCID: PMC4159491  PMID: 24737112
Sarcopenia; Residential aged care; Prevalence; Risk factors; Methodology
12.  Prevalence of and interventions for sarcopenia in ageing adults: a systematic review. Report of the International Sarcopenia Initiative (EWGSOP and IWGS) 
Age and Ageing  2014;43(6):748-759.
Objective: to examine the clinical evidence reporting the prevalence of sarcopenia and the effect of nutrition and exercise interventions from studies using the consensus definition of sarcopenia proposed by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP).
Methods: PubMed and Dialog databases were searched (January 2000–October 2013) using pre-defined search terms. Prevalence studies and intervention studies investigating muscle mass plus strength or function outcome measures using the EWGSOP definition of sarcopenia, in well-defined populations of adults aged ≥50 years were selected.
Results: prevalence of sarcopenia was, with regional and age-related variations, 1–29% in community-dwelling populations, 14–33% in long-term care populations and 10% in the only acute hospital-care population examined. Moderate quality evidence suggests that exercise interventions improve muscle strength and physical performance. The results of nutrition interventions are equivocal due to the low number of studies and heterogeneous study design. Essential amino acid (EAA) supplements, including ∼2.5 g of leucine, and β-hydroxy β-methylbutyric acid (HMB) supplements, show some effects in improving muscle mass and function parameters. Protein supplements have not shown consistent benefits on muscle mass and function.
Conclusion: prevalence of sarcopenia is substantial in most geriatric settings. Well-designed, standardised studies evaluating exercise or nutrition interventions are needed before treatment guidelines can be developed. Physicians should screen for sarcopenia in both community and geriatric settings, with diagnosis based on muscle mass and function. Supervised resistance exercise is recommended for individuals with sarcopenia. EAA (with leucine) and HMB may improve muscle outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4204661  PMID: 25241753
exercise intervention; nutrition intervention; prevalence; age-related; sarcopenia; older people
13.  Vitamin D Signaling in Myogenesis: Potential for Treatment of Sarcopenia 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:121254.
Muscle mass and strength progressively decrease with age, which results in a condition known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia would lead to physical disability, poor quality of life, and death. Therefore, much is expected of an effective intervention for sarcopenia. Epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory evidence suggest an effect of vitamin D on muscle function. However, the precise molecular and cellular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Recent studies suggest that vitamin D receptor (VDR) might be expressed in muscle fibers and vitamin D signaling via VDR plays a role in the regulation of myoblast proliferation and differentiation. Understanding how vitamin D signaling contributes to myogenesis will provide a valuable insight into an effective nutritional strategy to moderate sarcopenia. Here we will summarize the current knowledge about the effect of vitamin D on skeletal muscle and myogenic cells and discuss the potential for treatment of sarcopenia.
PMCID: PMC4147791  PMID: 25197630
14.  Optimal management of sarcopenia 
Sarcopenia is the progressive generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function which occurs as a consequence of aging. With a growing older population, there has been great interest in developing approaches to counteract the effects of sarcopenia, and thereby reduce the age-related decline and disability. This paper reviews (1) the mechanisms of sarcopenia, (2) the diagnosis of sarcopenia, and (3) the potential interventions for sarcopenia. Multiple factors appear to be involved in the development of sarcopenia including the loss of muscle mass and muscle fibers, increased inflammation, altered hormonal levels, poor nutritional status, and altered renin–angiotensin system. The lack of diagnostic criteria to identify patients with sarcopenia hinders potential management options. To date, pharmacological interventions have shown limited efficacy in counteracting the effects of sarcopenia. Recent evidence has shown benefits with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; however, further randomized controlled trials are required. Resistance training remains the most effective intervention for sarcopenia; however, older people maybe unable or unwilling to embark on strenuous exercise training programs.
PMCID: PMC2938029  PMID: 20852669
aged; muscle function; sarcopenia
15.  Physical exercise and sarcopenia in older people: position paper of the Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Medicine (OrtoMed) 
Sarcopenia is the age-associated loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. It is a major clinical problem for older people and research in understanding of pathogenesis, clinical consequences, management, and socioeconomic burden of this condition is growing exponentially. The causes of sarcopenia are multifactorial, including inflammation, insulin resistance, changing endocrine function, chronic diseases, nutritional deficiencies and low levels of physical activity. Operational definition of sarcopenia combines assessment of muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance. The diagnosis of sarcopenia should be based on having a low appendicular fat free mass in combination with low handgrip strength or poor physical functioning. Imaging techniques used for estimating lean body mass are computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, bioelectrical impedance analysis and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, the latter considered as the preferred method in research and clinical use.
Pharmacological interventions have shown limited efficacy in counteracting the age-related skeletal muscle wasting. Recent evidence suggests physical activity and exercise, in particular resistance training, as effective intervention strategies to slow down sarcopenia.
The Italian Society of Orthopaedics and Medicine (Or-toMed) provides this position paper to present the update on the role of exercise on sarcopenia in the elderly.
PMCID: PMC4269146  PMID: 25568656
physical exercise; sarcopenia; physical activity
16.  Sarcopenia: An Undiagnosed Condition in Older Adults. Current Consensus Definition: Prevalence, Etiology, and Consequences 
Sarcopenia, the age associated loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, has considerable societal consequences for the development of frailty, disability and health care planning. A group of geriatricians and scientists from academia and industry met in Rome, Italy on November 18, 2009 to arrive at a consensus definition of sarcopenia. The current consensus definition was approved unanimously by the meeting participants and is as follows: Sarcopenia is defined as the age-associated loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. The causes of sarcopenia are multi-factorial and can include disuse, altered endocrine function, chronic diseases, inflammation, insulin resistance, and nutritional deficiencies. While cachexia may be a component of sarcopenia, the two conditions are not the same. The diagnosis of sarcopenia should be considered in all older patients who present with observed declines in physical function, strength, or overall health. Sarcopenia should specifically be considered in patients who are bedridden, cannot independently rise from a chair, or who have a measured gait speed less that 1.0 m·s−1. Patients who meet these criteria should further undergo body composition assessment using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) with sarcopenia being defined using currently validated definitions. A diagnosis of sarcopenia is consistent with a gait speed of less than 1 m·s−1 and an objectively measured low muscle mass (eg: appendicular mass relative to ht2 that is ≤ 7.23 kg/ m2 in men ≤ 5.67 kg/ m2 in men). Sarcopenia is a highly prevalent condition in older persons that leads to disability, hospitalization and death.
PMCID: PMC3377163  PMID: 21527165
muscle; aging; body composition; function; disability
17.  Murine models of atrophy, cachexia, and sarcopenia in skeletal muscle 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2013;1832(9):1410-1420.
With the extension of life span over the past several decades, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength that characterizes sarcopenia is becoming more evident and thus, has a more significant impact on society. To determine ways to intervene and delay, or even arrest the physical frailty and dependence that accompany sarcopenia, it is necessary to identify those biochemical pathways that define this process. Animal models that mimic one or more of the physiological pathways involved with this phenomenon are very beneficial in providing an understanding of the cellular processes at work in sarcopenia. The ability to influence pathways through genetic manipulation gives insight into cellular responses and their impact on the physical expression of sarcopenia. This review evaluates several murine models that have the potential to elucidate biochemical processes integral to sarcopenia. Identifying animal models that reflect sarcopenia or its component pathways will enable researchers to better understand those pathways that contribute to age-related skeletal muscle mass loss, and in turn, develop interventions that will prevent, retard, arrest, or reverse this phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC3687011  PMID: 23523469
frailty; muscle loss; signaling; mouse; sarcopenia
18.  The physical capability of community-based men and women from a British cohort: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk study 
BMC Geriatrics  2013;13:93.
The European Working Group for Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) published a case-finding algorithm for sarcopenia, recommending muscle mass measurement in older adults with low grip strength (women <20 kg; men <30 kg) or slow walking speed (≤0.8 m/s). However, the implications of adopting this algorithm into clinical practice are unclear. Therefore, we aimed to explore the physical capability of men and women from a British population-based cohort study.
In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study, 8,623 community-based adults (48-92 years old) underwent assessment of grip strength, walking speed, timed chair stands and standing balance. The proportion of older men and women (≥65 years) fulfilling EWGSOP criteria for muscle mass measurement was estimated. Additionally, cross-sectional associations of physical capability with age and sex were explored using linear and logistic regression.
Approximately 1 in 4 older participants (28.8%) fulfilled criteria for muscle mass measurement with a greater proportion of women than men falling below threshold criteria (33.6% versus 23.6%). Even after adjustment for anthropometry, women were 12.4 kg (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 12.0, 12.7) weaker, took 12.0% (95% CI 10.0, 14.0) longer to perform five chair stands and were 1.82 (95% CI 1.48, 2.23) times more likely to be unable to hold a tandem stand for 10 seconds than men, although usual walking speed was similar. Physical capability was inversely associated with age and per year, walking speed decreased by 0.01 m/s (95% CI 0.01, 0.01) and grip strength decreased by 0.49 kg (men; 95% CI 0.46, 0.51) and 0.25 kg (women; 95% CI 0.23, 0.27). Despite this, there was still variation within age-groups and not all older people had low physical capability.
Every effort to optimise functional health in later life should be made since poor function is not inevitable. However, if the EWGSOP sarcopenia case-finding algorithm is endorsed, large proportions of older people could qualify for muscle mass measurement which is not commonly available. Considering population ageing, further discussion is needed over the utility of muscle mass measurement in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3846689  PMID: 24020915
Ag(e)ing; Sarcopenia; Hand strength; Physical capability; Sex factors
19.  Porvoo sarcopenia and nutrition trial: effects of protein supplementation on functional performance in home-dwelling sarcopenic older people - study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:387.
Age-related muscle loss (that is, sarcopenia) is a common health problem among older people. Physical exercise and dietary protein have been emphasized in prevention and treatment of sarcopenia. Rigorous trials investigating the effects of protein supplementation on physical performance in sarcopenic populations are still scarce. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of protein supplementation along with simple home-based exercises on physical performance among home-dwelling sarcopenic older people.
During 2012 the entire 75 and older population (N = 3,275) living in Porvoo, Finland was contacted via a postal questionnaire. Persons at risk of sarcopenia are screened with hand grip strength and gait speed. Poorly performing persons are further examined by segmental bioimpendance spectroscopy to determine their skeletal muscle index. Sarcopenic patients (target N = 250) will be enrolled in a 12-month randomized controlled trial with three arms: 1) no supplementation, 2) protein supplementation (20 grams twice a day), and 3) isocaloric placebo. All the participants will receive instructions on simple home-based exercises, dietary protein, and vitamin D supplementation (20 μg/d). The recruitment of patients will be completed during 2013. The primary endpoint of the trial is the change in short physical performance battery score and percentage of patients maintaining or improving their physical performance. Secondary endpoints will be, among other things, changes in muscle functions, nutritional status, body composition, cognition, quality of life, use of health care services, falls, and mortality. The assessment times will be 0, 6, 12 and 24 months.
To our knowledge, this is the first large scale randomized controlled trial among community dwelling older people with sarcopenia that focuses on the effects of protein supplementation on physical performance.
Trial registration
ACTRN12612001253897, date of registration 28 October 2012, first patient was randomized 11 April 2012.
PMCID: PMC3832233  PMID: 24225081
Sarcopenia; Frailty; Cachexia; Older people; Community-dwelling; Randomized controlled trial
20.  From muscle wasting to sarcopenia and myopenia: update 2012 
Human muscle undergoes constant changes. After about age 50, muscle mass decreases at an annual rate of 1–2 %. Muscle strength declines by 1.5 % between ages 50 and 60 and by 3 % thereafter. The reasons for these changes include denervation of motor units and a net conversion of fast type II muscle fibers into slow type I fibers with resulting loss in muscle power necessary for activities of daily living. In addition, lipids are deposited in the muscle, but these changes do not usually lead to a loss in body weight. Once muscle mass in elderly subjects falls below 2 standard deviations of the mean of a young control cohort and the gait speed falls below 0.8 m/s, a clinical diagnosis of sarcopenia can be reached. Assessment of muscle strength using tests such as the short physical performance battery test, the timed get-up-and-go test, or the stair climb power test may also be helpful in establishing the diagnosis. Serum markers may be useful when sarcopenia presence is suspected and may prompt further investigations. Indeed, sarcopenia is one of the four main reasons for loss of muscle mass. On average, it is estimated that 5–13 % of elderly people aged 60–70 years are affected by sarcopenia. The numbers increase to 11–50 % for those aged 80 or above. Sarcopenia may lead to frailty, but not all patients with sarcopenia are frail—sarcopenia is about twice as common as frailty. Several studies have shown that the risk of falls is significantly elevated in subjects with reduced muscle strength. Treatment of sarcopenia remains challenging, but promising results have been obtained using progressive resistance training, testosterone, estrogens, growth hormone, vitamin D, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Interesting nutritional interventions include high-caloric nutritional supplements and essential amino acids that support muscle fiber synthesis.
PMCID: PMC3505577  PMID: 23160774
Sarcopenia; Muscle mass; Prevalence; Morbidity
21.  Sarcopenia and Age-Related Endocrine Function 
Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of skeletal muscle, is characterized by a deterioration of muscle quantity and quality leading to a gradual slowing of movement, a decline in strength and power, and an increased risk of fall-related injuries. Since sarcopenia is largely attributed to various molecular mediators affecting fiber size, mitochondrial homeostasis, and apoptosis, numerous targets exist for drug discovery. In this paper, we summarize the current understanding of the endocrine contribution to sarcopenia and provide an update on hormonal intervention to try to improve endocrine defects. Myostatin inhibition seems to be the most interesting strategy for attenuating sarcopenia other than resistance training with amino acid supplementation. Testosterone supplementation in large amounts and at low frequency improves muscle defects with aging but has several side effects. Although IGF-I is a potent regulator of muscle mass, its therapeutic use has not had a positive effect probably due to local IGF-I resistance. Treatment with ghrelin may ameliorate the muscle atrophy elicited by age-dependent decreases in growth hormone. Ghrelin is an interesting candidate because it is orally active, avoiding the need for injections. A more comprehensive knowledge of vitamin-D-related mechanisms is needed to utilize this nutrient to prevent sarcopenia.
PMCID: PMC3368374  PMID: 22690213
22.  Nutrient-rich dairy proteins improve appendicular skeletal muscle mass and physical performance, and attenuate the loss of muscle strength in older men and women subjects: a single-blind randomized clinical trial 
At present, it is unknown whether the use of nutrient-rich dairy proteins improves the markers of sarcopenia syndrome. Therefore, our proposal was to investigate whether adding 210 g of ricotta cheese daily would improve skeletal muscle mass, handgrip strength, and physical performance in non-sarcopenic older subjects.
Subjects and methods
This was a single-blind randomized clinical trial that included two homogeneous, randomized groups of men and women over 60 years of age. Participants in the intervention group were asked to consume their habitual diet but add 210 g of ricotta cheese (IG/HD + RCH), while the control group was instructed to consume only their habitual diet (CG/HD). Basal and 12-week follow-up measurements included appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASMM) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, handgrip strength by a handheld dynamometer, and physical performance using the short physical performance battery (SPPB) and the stair-climb power test (SCPT). The main outcomes were relative changes in ASMM, strength, SPPB, and SCPT.
ASMM increased in the IG/HD + RCH (0.6±3.5 kg), but decreased in the CG/HD (−1.0±2.6). The relative change between groups was statistically significant (P=0.009). The relative change in strength in both groups was negative, but the loss of muscle strength was more pronounced in CG/HD, though in this regard statistical analysis found only a tendency (P=0.07). The relative change in the balance-test scores was positive for the IG/HD + RCH, while in the CG/HD it was negative, as those individuals had poorer balance. In this case, the relative change between groups did reach statistical significance.
The addition of 210 g of ricotta cheese improves ASMM and balance-test scores, while attenuating the loss of muscle strength. These results suggest that adding ricotta cheese to the habitual diet is a promising dietetic strategy that may improve the markers of sarcopenia in subjects without a pronounced loss of ASMM or sarcopenia.
PMCID: PMC4172033  PMID: 25258523
nutritional intervention; nutrient-rich dairy proteins; ricotta cheese; markers of sarcopenia; elderly
23.  Rehabilitation nutrition for sarcopenia with disability: a combination of both rehabilitation and nutrition care management 
Malnutrition and sarcopenia often occur in rehabilitation settings. The prevalence of malnutrition and sarcopenia in older patients undergoing rehabilitation is 49–67 % and 40–46.5 %, respectively. Malnutrition and sarcopenia are associated with poorer rehabilitation outcome and physical function. Therefore, a combination of both rehabilitation and nutrition care management may improve outcome in disabled elderly with malnutrition and sarcopenia. The concept of rehabilitation nutrition as a combination of both rehabilitation and nutrition care management and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health guidelines are used to evaluate nutrition status and to maximize functionality in the elderly and other people with disability. Assessment of the multifactorial causes of primary and secondary sarcopenia is important because rehabilitation nutrition for sarcopenia differs depending on its etiology. Treatment of age-related sarcopenia should include resistance training and dietary supplements of amino acids. Therapy for activity-related sarcopenia includes reduced bed rest time and early mobilization and physical activity. Treatment for disease-related sarcopenia requires therapies for advanced organ failure, inflammatory disease, malignancy, or endocrine disease, while therapy for nutrition-related sarcopenia involves appropriate nutrition management to increase muscle mass. Because primary and secondary sarcopenia often coexist in people with disability, the concept of rehabilitation nutrition is useful for their treatment. Stroke, hip fracture, and hospital-associated deconditioning are major causes of disability, and inpatients of rehabilitation facilities often have malnutrition and sarcopenia. We review the concept of rehabilitation nutrition, the rehabilitation nutrition options for stroke, hip fracture, hospital-associated deconditioning, sarcopenic dysphagia, and then evaluate the amount of research interest in rehabilitation nutrition.
PMCID: PMC4248414  PMID: 25223471
Rehabilitation nutrition; Stroke; Hip fracture; Hospital-associated deconditioning; Sarcopenic dysphagia
In the presence of an aging population, public health priorities need to evolve. As the populations gets older, the already existing pathologies have become commonplace with specific geriatric clinical syndromes like frailty, mobility disability, or cognitive impairment, among others. Sarcopenia is a good example for which geriatricians, neurologists, physiologists, nutritionists and epidemiologists need to find a consensual definition and diagnostic tool as well as guidelines for the management of clinical trials and possible treatments. The Carla Sarcopenia Task Force, which met in the south of France (Toulouse) for an expert consensus meeting called “Les Entretiens du Carla”, have addressed a series of existing issues to place Sarcopenia into a nosological context: a definition which should be a composite of a change in muscle mass and a change in strength/function depending on either a progressive and chronic wasting process or an acute onset of loss of muscle mass; a recommendation for DXA and the Short Physical Performance Battery as a clinical pragmatic approach of Sarcopenia; a differentiated approach for clinical studies according to prevention or treatment objectives and depending on the sub-groups and target populations; and finally, a summary of therapeutic strategies currently recommended. The aim of “Les Entretiens du Carla”, based on an expert meeting panel, was to address a series of unsolved issues in the field of Sarcopenia by combining the expert opinion with a revision of the existing literature on the topic. Through this report, the reader will appreciate the determination to find conclusions on the various issues and further studies to be developed to determine the best multidisciplinary approach needed.
PMCID: PMC4311888  PMID: 19657553
25.  The role of dietary protein intake in the prevention of sarcopenia of aging 
Sarcopenia is defined as age-related decrease in muscle mass and performance. Several consensus definitions of sarcopenia exist, each providing different cut points and methodologies for assessing muscle mass and muscle strength. Thus, wide variation in the prevalence of sarcopenia has been reported, generally ranging up to 45% for men and 26% for women. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, malnutrition, and physical inactivity. Additional evidence suggests a protective role for protein supplementation in older adults in order to preserve lean body mass and prevent frailty, accepted intervention targets for reducing the risk of sarcopenia. Protein supplements vary widely in their composition, and small trials of heterogeneous study designs have made it difficult to extrapolate findings to develop data-driven, evidence-based recommendations for protein supplementation in sarcopenia prevention. Short-term randomized, controlled trials of muscle protein synthesis have demonstrated that whey protein increases synthesis more so than casein or soy isolates. Studies also suggest that essential amino acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis to a greater extent than non-essential amino acids. This review summarizes the epidemiological and clinical trial evidence establishing the current definitions for sarcopenia and provides an overview of the state of the evidence for protein supplementation to prevent and/or mitigate sarcopenia.
PMCID: PMC3928027  PMID: 24163319
Sarcopenia; diet; protein; amino acids; aging

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