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Keywords:

  • Asian;
  • older people;
  • prevalence;
  • risk factors;
  • sarcopenia

Aim

The present population-based, cross-sectional study was carried out in communities in Taichung, Taiwan, to identify the prevalence of and the factors associated with sarcopenia, using the diagnostic criteria of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People, which requires the presence of low muscle mass and low muscle function.

Methods

We recruited 771 participants aged 65 years or older. Lean soft tissue mass was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Skeletal muscle index was calculated by dividing limb muscle mass by the square of height or weight. Low muscle mass was defined as having a skeletal muscle index two standard deviations or more below the gender-specific means of 506 healthy young adults. Sarcopenic obesity was defined as having sarcopenia and a body mass index over 25.

Results

The prevalence of height- and weight-adjusted sarcopenia was 5.7% and 9.7%, respectively. The prevalence of height-adjusted sarcopenic obesity was 0.13%, much lower than that of weight-adjusted sarcopenic obesity (7.1%). Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that higher urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio was associated with both height- and weight-adjusted sarcopenia. Height-adjusted sarcopenia was also associated with male gender, lower body mass index and lower diastolic blood pressure. Weight-adjusted sarcopenia was also associated with older age, female gender, higher body mass index, gout, lack of regular exercise and a history of accidental falls.

Conclusions

The weight-adjusted skeletal muscle index is more capable of showing the effect of increased age on the prevalence of sarcopenia and identifying subjects with sarcopenic obesity among our study population. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2015; 15: 45–53.