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Sarcopenia—definitions and epidemiology 

Sarcopenia—definitions and epidemiology
Sarcopenia—definitions and epidemiology
Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine (3 edn)

José A. Morais


Sarcopenia is a progressive and inevitable loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with ageing that places older adults at high risk for adverse health outcomes. Up to of 15% of older adults suffer negative healthcare consequences because of sarcopenia. Furthermore, it is responsible for two to four times greater risk of disability. Expert groups have proposed clinical oriented criteria based on gait speed <0.8 m/s and low handgrip strength before performing muscle mass assessment. Multiple aetiologies are implicated in the development of sarcopenia including age-related, lifestyle, neurodegeneration, hormonal, and inflammation factors. Resistance exercise training and higher than recommended protein intake are two accessible means to counteract sarcopenia. Hormonal interventions, despite amelioration in muscle and fat masses, have not led to significant gains in function. Sarcopenia shares many features with frailty and can be considered as one of its underlying mechanisms.

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