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Frailty and sarcopenia 

Frailty and sarcopenia
Frailty and sarcopenia

Andrew Clegg

, and Harnish Patel

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date: 27 February 2021

Sarcopenia and frailty are inter-related expressions of ageing which identify people at risk of important adverse health events such as falls, disability, and mortality, and the consequent health and social care needs such as hospitalization or care home admission.

Sarcopenia is the progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and function with age. It has a complex aetiology involving neurohormonal, immunological, and nutritional mechanisms, and is a core component of frailty, which is characterized by reduced biological reserves across a range of physiological systems that increase vulnerability to adverse outcomes following minor stressor events. Detection of frailty should be an essential part of assessment of older people, and the Clinical Frailty Scale is a simple tool based on comprehensive geriatric assessment that enables assignment of a frailty category based on clinical judgement.

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