Sarcopenia Defined by Combining Height- and Weight-Adjusted Skeletal Muscle Indices is Closely Associated With Poor Physical Performance

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Objectives:

To compare muscle strength and physical performance among subjects with and without sarcopenia of different definitions.

Design:

A population-based cross-sectional study.

Participants:

857 community residents aged 65 years or older.

Methods:

Sarcopenia was defined according to the European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People consensus criteria. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measured lean soft tissue mass. Sarcopenic participants with low height-adjusted or weight-adjusted skeletal muscle index (SMI) were classified as having h-sarcopenia or w-sarcopenia, respectively. Combined sarcopenia (c-sarcopenia) was defined as having either h- or w-sarcopenia. The participants underwent six physical performance tests: walking speed, timed up-and-go, six-minute walk, single-leg stance, timed chair stands, and flexibility test. The strength of five muscle groups was measured.

Results:

Participants with h-sarcopenia had lower weight, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, and absolute muscle strength (p ≤ .001); those with w-sarcopenia had higher weight, BMI, fat mass (p < .001), and low relative muscle strength (p ≤ .003). Participants with c-sarcopenia had poorer performance in all physical performance tests, whereas h-sarcopenia and w-sarcopenia were associated with poor performance in four tests.

Conclusion:

Subjects with h- and w-sarcopenia differ significantly in terms of obesity indicators. Combining height- and weight-adjusted SMIs can be a feasible method to define sarcopenia.

Meng is with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; and the School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. C-I Li is with the School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; and the Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan. Liu and W-Y Lin are with the School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; and the Department of Family Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan. C-H Lin is with the School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; the Department of Family Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; and the Department of Geriatric Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan. Chang is with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan. T-C Li is with the Graduate Institute of Biostatistics, College of Management, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. C-C Lin is with the School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan; the Department of Family Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; and the Department of Healthcare Administration, College of Health Science, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan.

Address author correspondence to Cheng-Chieh Lin at cclin@mail.cmuh.org.tw.