Prevalence and risk factors of sarcopenia: a study in a tertiary care centre
Keywords:Sarcopenia, Elderly patients, Appendicular skeletal mass, Total skeletal mass, Lean body mass
Background: Sarcopenia is characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. The known causes for sarcopenia are usually age related, changes in tissue secretions or response to hormonal factors, changes in dietary intake, protein metabolism and disuse atrophy. This study was conducted to identify the predictors for sarcopenia among the elderly patients in our area.
Methods: 678 patients above the age of 60 years and 50 young patients between the age of 18-40 years (to establish a baseline value) were recruited into the study. Height and weight were measured for all the patients, and BMI was calculated. Lean body mass, appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM), and total skeletal mass (TSM) was measured from the controls as well as the patients.
Results: Out of the 678 patients, 346 were males and 332 were females. The prevalence of sarcopenia was found to be 15.3% among the elderly males and 20.5% among the females. The lean body mass and the appendicular skeletal mass were significantly more in males than females. Of the risk factors which we studied, there was no significance between the sarcopenic and non sarcopenic individuals. There was a significant difference in the other metabolic factors such as lower protein levels and lower steroid hormones although the numbers were very small in our study.
Conclusions: This confirms that the relative muscle mass in significantly lower among the elderly population as compared to the younger generation. Sarcopenia is found to increase the likely hood of disability in these patients independent of the age, weight, BMI, other factors of morbidity and health factors. Therefore, criteria for estimating prevalences of sarcopenia are needed for public health planning purposes.
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