• aging;
  • skeletal muscle;
  • bioelectrical impedance analysis;
  • sarcopenia;
  • magnetic resonance imaging

OBJECTIVES: To compare a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) prediction equation for estimating skeletal muscle mass (SM) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-measured SM and to investigate the prevalence of sarcopenia in community-dwelling elderly people in Taiwan.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.

SETTING: Communities in the district of Zhongzheng, Taipei.

PARTICIPANTS: Forty-one volunteers (aged 22–90) for BIA equation validation; 302 individuals aged 65 and older and 200 adults aged 18 to 40 for the investigation of the prevalence of sarcopenia.

MEASUREMENTS: Skeletal muscle mass was estimated using a BIA prediction equation and measured using MRI.

RESULTS: No statistical difference between MRI-measured and BIA-derived SM was observed (difference of −0.44 ± 1.55 kg, P=.08). The prevalence of sarcopenia in was 18.6% in elderly women and 23.6% in elderly men.

CONCLUSION: Estimation of SM using a BIA equation was validated in Taiwanese volunteers. It was confirmed that sarcopenia is an emerging health problem in the aging population in Taiwan.