A positive association between stroke risk and sarcopenia in men aged ≥ 50 years, but not women: results from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008-2010

S Park, J-O Ham, B-K Lee
Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 2014, 18 (9): 806-12

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength, develops with aging and may be a pivotal risk factor in individual cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). We examined whether sarcopenia was positively associated with the prevalence of CVDs, including angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and stroke, in adults of each gender aged ≥50 years, independent of other covariates and possible confounders.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This cross-sectional study included 3,009 men and 4,199 women aged ≥550 years who participated in the 2008-2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Sarcopenia was defined as appendicular skeletal muscle mass/body weight <1 (moderate) or 2 (severe) standard deviations below gender-specific means for young adults. CVD prevalence was positively associated with sarcopenia in men after adjusting for confounders involved in CVD risk factors (Class I, OR=1.847 and Class II, OR=2.347; P<0.05). However, no such association was found in women. Furthermore, for individual CVDs, a strong positive association between stroke and sarcopenia (Class I, OR=1.734 and Class II, OR=3.725; P<0.05) and a moderate association between angina pectoris and sarcopenia (Class I, OR=1.988 and Class II, OR=1.347; P<0.05) were observed in men only. Interestingly, only the estimated homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance was greater in men with moderate and severe sarcopenia than in those with normal states, whereas only serum total cholesterol levels were significantly higher in women with severe sarcopenia than in those with normal states. In both genders, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were significantly lower in moderate and severe sarcopenic states.

CONCLUSIONS: men aged ≥50 years with sarcopenia showed elevated prevalence of CVDs, especially stroke, in a representative sample of the general South Korean population.

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