Prevalence and risk factors of sarcopenia: a study in a tertiary care centre


  • Lalatendu Mohanty Department of General Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
  • Debananda Sahoo Department of General Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India



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.


Doherty TJ, Vandervoort AA, Brown WF. Effects of ageing on the motor unit: a brief review. Can J Appl Physiol. 1993;18:331-58.

Grimby G, Saltin B. The ageing muscle. Clin Physiol. 1983;3:209-18.

Janssen I, Heymsfield SB, Ross R. Low relative skeletal muscle mass (sarcopenia) in older persons is associated with functional impairment and physical disability. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002;50:889-96.

Newman AB, Kupelian V, Visser M, Simonsick E, Goodpaster B, Nevitt M, et al. Sarcopenia: Alternative definitions and associations with lower extremity function. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003;51:1602-9.

Delmonico MJ, Harris TB, Lee JS, Visser M, Nevitt M, Kritchevsky SB, et al. Alternative definitions of sarcopenia, lower extremity performance, and functional impairment with aging in older men and women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007;55:769-74.

Landi F, Cruz-Jentoft AJ, Liperoti R, Russo A, Giovannini S, Tosato M, et al. Sarcopenia and mortality risk in frail older persons aged 80 years and older: results from ilSIRENTE Study. Age Ageing. 2013;42(2):203-9.

Bortz WM 2nd. Disuse and aging. JAMA 1982;248:1203-8.

Evans WJ, Campbell WW. Sarcopenia and age-related changes in body composition and functional capacity. J Nutr. 1993;123:465-8.

Dutta C, Hadley EC. The significance of sarcopenia in old age. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1995;50:l-4.

Rosenberg IH. Sarcopenia: origins and clinical relevance. J Nutr. 1997;127:990s-1s.

Melton LJ, Khosla S, Crowson CS, O'Connor MK, O'Fallon M, Riggs BL. Epidemiology of sarcopenia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2000;48:625-30.

Baumgartner RN, Koehler KM, Gallagher D, Romero L, Heymsfield SB, Ross RR, et al. Epidemiology of sarcopenia among the elderly in New Mexico. Am J Epidemiol. 1998;147:755-63.

Jette AM, Branch LG. The Framingham Disability Study: II. Physical disability among the aging. Am J Public Health. 1981;71:1211-6.

Baumgartner RN, Waters DL, Gallagher D, Morley JE, Garry PJ. Predictors of skeletal muscle mass in elderly men and women. Mech Ageing Dev. 1999;107:123-36.

Lang T, Streeper T, Cawthon P, Baldwin K, Taaffe DR, Harris TB. Sarcopenia: etiology, clinical consequences, intervention, and assessment. Osteoporos Int. 2010;21:543-59.

Gallagher D, Visser M, De Meersman RE, Sepulveda D, Baumgartner RN, Pierson RN, et al. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass: effects of age, gender, and ethnicity. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997;83:229-39.

Lau EM, Lynn HS, Woo JW, Kwok TC, Melton LJ 3rd. Prevalence of and risk factors for sarcopenia in elderly Chinese men and women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005;60:213-6.

Sternfeld B, Ngo L, Satariano WA, Tager IB. Associations of body composition with physical performance and self-reported functional limitation in elderly men and women. Am J Epidemiol. 2002;156:110-21.

Castillo EM, Goodman-Gruen D, Kritz-Silverstein D, Morton DJ, Wingard DL, Barrett-Connor E. Sarcopenia in elderly men and women—the Rancho Bernardo Study. Am J Prev Med. 2003;25:226-31.

Newman AB, Visser M, Kupelian V, et al. Defining sarcopenia in older adults: a comparison of two approaches. The Health Aging and Body Composition study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002;50:S68 –68.

Kim TN, Yang SJ, Yoo HJ, Lim KI, Kang HJ, W Song W, et al. Prevalence of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity in Korean adults: the Korean sarcopenic obesity study. International Journal of Obesity. 2009;33:885-92.

Morley JE, Baumgartner RN, Roubenoff R, Mayer J, Nair KS. Sarcopenia. J Lab Clin Med. 2001;137:231-43.

Roubenoff R. Origins and clinical relevance of sarcopenia. Can J Appl Physiol. 2001;26:78-89.

Brown WF. A method for estimating the number of motor units in the muscles and the change in motor unit count with aging. J Neurol Neurosurg Psych. 1972;35:845-52.

Morley JE, Kaiser FE, Perry HM, Patrick P, Morley PM, Stauber PM, et al. Longitudinal changes in testosterone, leutinizing hormone, and frelide-stimulating hormone in healthy older men. Metabolism. 1997;6:410-3.

Labrie F, Belanger A, Lun-The V, Labrie C, Simard J, Cusan L, et al. DHEA and the intracrine formation of androgens and estrogens in peripheral target tissues: its role during aging. Steroids. 1998;63:322-8.

Young VR. Amino acids and proteins in relations to the nutrition of elderly people. Age Aging. 1990;19:S10-24.

Westerterp KR. Daily physical activity and aging. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metabol Care. 2000;3:485-8.

Baumgartner RN, Wayne SJ, Waters DL, Janssen I, Gallagher D, Morley JE. Sarcopenic obesity predicts instrumental activities of daily living disability in the elderly. Obes Res. 2004;12:1995-2004.






Original Research Articles