The prevalence of sarcopenia in fallers and those at risk of falls in a secondary care falls unit as measured by bioimpedance analysis

Katherine Sarah Bames, Barbara Smeed, Rachael Taylor, Victoria Hood, Katherine Brooke-Wavell, Adrian Slee, Jesper Ryg, Tahir Masud

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Abstract

Objectives: Sarcopenia is characterised by loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength with adverse outcomes: physical disability, poor quality of life and death. Low muscle mass and strength are risk factors for falls, although there are few data available on the prevalence of sarcopenia in fallers. This study aimed to determine prevalence of sarcopenia in older people referred to a falls clinic. Methods: Consecutive patients referred to a secondary care falls unit were recruited. Sarcopenia was diagnosed using the European Working Group on Sarcopenia definition (low muscle mass and function) and cut-off points. Bio-impedance measured appendicular skeletal muscle mass. Gait speed and grip strength were functional measures. Results: Fifty-eight patients were recruited. Mean (SD) grip strength for women and men respectively were 17.9 (4.9) and 29.9(8.7) kg, mean (SD) gait speeds were 0.61(0.18) and 0.72 (0.4) m/s, mean (SD) appendicular skeletal muscle index in women and men were 6.98(1.0) and 7.85 (1.0) kg/m2 (p=0.018). Prevalence of sarcopenia was 9.8% (95% CI=1.6%-18%). Conclusions: Sarcopenia, as measured by bio-impedance is not uncommon in older people accessing a secondary care falls clinic. Bio-impedance was simple to perform, although further validation against gold standard methods is needed. As nutritional and exercise interventions for sarcopenia are available, simple methods for diagnosing sarcopenia in fallers should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Frailty, Sarcopenia & Falls
Volume3
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)128-131
ISSN2459-4148
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018

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