COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Sarcopenia and mortality among older nursing home residents

Francesco Landi, Rosa Liperoti, Domenico Fusco, Simona Mastropaolo, Davide Quattrociocchi, Anna Proia, Matteo Tosato, Roberto Bernabei, Graziano Onder
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2012, 13 (2): 121-6
21856243

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Sarcopenia has been indicated as a reliable marker of frailty and poor prognosis among the oldest individuals. At present, no data are available on sarcopenia in the nursing home population. The aim of the current study was to explore the relationship between sarcopenia and all-cause mortality in a population of elderly persons aged 70 years and older living in a nursing home in Italy.

METHODS: This study was conducted among all subjects (n = 122) aged 70 years and older who lived in the teaching nursing home of Catholic University of Rome between August 1, 2010, and September 30, 2010. According to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP), sarcopenia was diagnosed in presence of low muscle mass plus either low muscle strength or low physical performance. The primary outcome measure was survival after 6 months.

RESULTS: Forty residents (32.8%) were indentified as affected by sarcopenia. This condition was more common in men (68%) than in women (21%). During the follow-up period, 26 (21.3%) patients died. After adjusting for age, gender, cerebrovascular diseases, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, activity of daily living impairment, and body mass index, residents with sarcopenia were more likely to die compared with those without sarcopenia (adjusted hazard ratio 2.34; 95% confidence interval 1.04-5.24).

CONCLUSIONS: The present study suggests that among subjects living in a nursing home, sarcopenia is highly prevalent and is associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause death. The current findings support the possibility that sarcopenia has an independent effect on survival among nursing home residents.

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