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Sarcopenia as a mortality predictor in community-dwelling older adults: a comparison of the diagnostic criteria of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People

Nathalia Perleberg Bachettini, Renata Moraes Bielemann, Thiago Gonzalez Barbosa-Silva, Ana Maria Baptista Menezes, Elaine Tomasi, Maria Cristina Gonzalez
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019 October 4
31586126

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The definition of sarcopenia remains a matter of discussion and there is no globally accepted consensus for its diagnosis. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of sarcopenia diagnostic components on mortality, as well as to compare the associations between sarcopenia diagnosed via the 2010 and 2018 Consensuses of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) and mortality.

METHODS: Prospective cohort study involving noninstitutionalized older adults aged ≥ 60 years. For the diagnosis of sarcopenia, the definitions proposed by the 2010 (EWGSOP) and 2018 (EWGSOP2) Consensuses were used. The diagnostic components corresponded to muscle mass, muscular strength, and physical performance. The associations of sarcopenia and its components with mortality were investigated using Cox proportional hazard regression models.

RESULTS: The sample consisted of 1291 older adults. After an average of 2.6 years of follow-up, 88 (6.8%) participants had died. The diagnosis of severe sarcopenia by both Consensuses was associated with an increased risk of mortality. Severe sarcopenia was associated with an increased risk of death compared with that in people without sarcopenia when using EWGSOP (hazard ratio (HR) 3.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44-6.90) and EWGSOP2 (HR 4.11, 95% CI 1.88-9.00). Older adults with decreased gait speed had a 76% higher risk of dying (p = 0.033). There was no statistically significant association between the other sarcopenia components and mortality risk.

CONCLUSIONS: Older adults with severe sarcopenia and those with changes in physical performance had an increased risk of death in the short term.

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