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      Sarcopenic Obesity: Prevalence and Association With Metabolic Syndrome in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging (KLoSHA)


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          We investigated the prevalence of sarcopenic obesity (SO) and its relationship with metabolic syndrome in a community-based elderly cohort in Korea.


          In this study, 287 men and 278 women aged 65 or older were recruited. Sarcopenia was defined as the appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) divided by height squared (Ht 2) (kg/m 2) or by weight (Wt) (%) of <1 SD below the sex-specific mean for young adults. Obesity was defined as a visceral fat area ≥100 cm 2.


          The prevalence of SO was 16.7% in men and 5.7% in women with sarcopenia defined by ASM/Ht 2; however, it was 35.1% in men and 48.1% in women by ASM/Wt. Using ASM/Wt, the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance of subjects with SO was higher and they were at higher risk for metabolic syndrome (odds ratio [OR] 8.28 [95% CI 4.45–15.40]) than the obese (5.51 [2.81–10.80]) or sarcopenic group (2.64 [1.08–6.44]).


          SO defined by ASM/Wt was more closely associated with metabolic syndrome than either sarcopenia or obesity alone.

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          Epidemiology of sarcopenia among the elderly in New Mexico.

          Muscle mass decreases with age, leading to "sarcopenia," or low relative muscle mass, in elderly people. Sarcopenia is believed to be associated with metabolic, physiologic, and functional impairments and disability. Methods of estimating the prevalence of sarcopenia and its associated risks in elderly populations are lacking. Data from a population-based survey of 883 elderly Hispanic and non-Hispanic white men and women living in New Mexico (the New Mexico Elder Health Survey, 1993-1995) were analyzed to develop a method for estimating the prevalence of sarcopenia. An anthropometric equation for predicting appendicular skeletal muscle mass was developed from a random subsample (n = 199) of participants and was extended to the total sample. Sarcopenia was defined as appendicular skeletal muscle mass (kg)/height2 (m2) being less than two standard deviations below the mean of a young reference group. Prevalences increased from 13-24% in persons under 70 years of age to >50% in persons over 80 years of age, and were slightly greater in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites. Sarcopenia was significantly associated with self-reported physical disability in both men and women, independent of ethnicity, age, morbidity, obesity, income, and health behaviors. This study provides some of the first estimates of the extent of the public health problem posed by sarcopenia.
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            Low relative skeletal muscle mass (sarcopenia) in older persons is associated with functional impairment and physical disability.

            To establish the prevalence of sarcopenia in older Americans and to test the hypothesis that sarcopenia is related to functional impairment and physical disability in older persons. Cross-sectional survey. Nationally representative cross-sectional survey using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Fourteen thousand eight hundred eighteen adult NHANES III participants aged 18 and older. The presence of sarcopenia and the relationship between sarcopenia and functional impairment and disability were examined in 4,504 adults aged 60 and older. Skeletal muscle mass was estimated from bioimpedance analysis measurements and expressed as skeletal muscle mass index (SMI = skeletal muscle mass/body mass x 100). Subjects were considered to have a normal SMI if their SMI was greater than -one standard deviation above the sex-specific mean for young adults (aged 18-39). Class I sarcopenia was considered present in subjects whose SMI was within -one to -two standard deviations of young adult values, and class II sarcopenia was present in subjects whose SMI was below -two standard deviations of young adult values. The prevalence of class I and class II sarcopenia increased from the third to sixth decades but remained relatively constant thereafter. The prevalence of class I (59% vs 45%) and class II (10% vs 7%) sarcopenia was greater in the older (> or = 60 years) women than in the older men (P <.001). The likelihood of functional impairment and disability was approximately two times greater in the older men and three times greater in the older women with class II sarcopenia than in the older men and women with a normal SMI, respectively. Some of the associations between class II sarcopenia and functional impairment remained significant after adjustment for age, race, body mass index, health behaviors, and comorbidity. Reduced relative skeletal muscle mass in older Americans is a common occurrence that is significantly and independently associated with functional impairment and disability, particularly in older women. These observations provide strong support for the prevailing view that sarcopenia may be an important and potentially reversible cause of morbidity and mortality in older persons.
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              Strength, but not muscle mass, is associated with mortality in the health, aging and body composition study cohort.

              Although muscle strength and mass are highly correlated, the relationship between direct measures of low muscle mass (sarcopenia) and strength in association with mortality has not been examined. Total mortality rates were examined in the Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study in 2292 participants (aged 70-79 years, 51.6% women, and 38.8% black). Knee extension strength was measured with isokinetic dynamometry, grip strength with isometric dynamometry. Thigh muscle area was measured by computed tomography (CT) scan, and leg and arm lean soft tissue mass were determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Both strength and muscle size were assessed as in gender-specific Cox proportional hazards models, with age, race, comorbidities, smoking status, level of physical activity, fat area by CT or fat mass by DXA, height, and markers of inflammation, including interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha considered as potential confounders. There were 286 deaths over an average of 4.9 (standard deviation = 0.9) years of follow-up. Both quadriceps and grip strength were strongly related to mortality. For quadriceps strength (per standard deviation of 38 Nm), the crude hazard ratio for men was 1.51 (95% confidence interval, 1.28-1.79) and 1.65 (95% confidence interval, 1.19-2.30) for women. Muscle size, determined by either CT area or DXA regional lean mass, was not strongly related to mortality. In the models of quadriceps strength and mortality, adjustment for muscle area or regional lean mass only slightly attenuated the associations. Further adjustment for other factors also had minimal effect on the association of quadriceps strength with mortality. Associations of grip strength with mortality were similar. Low muscle mass did not explain the strong association of strength with mortality, demonstrating that muscle strength as a marker of muscle quality is more important than quantity in estimating mortality risk. Grip strength provided risk estimates similar to those of quadriceps strength.

                Author and article information

                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                American Diabetes Association
                July 2010
                11 May 2010
                : 33
                : 7
                : 1652-1654
                1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea;
                2Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea;
                3Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital, Seongman, Korea;
                4Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Hak Chul Jang, janghak@ 123456snu.ac.kr .

                S.L. and J.H.K. contributed equally to this work.

                © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.

                Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

                Original Research
                Cardiovascular and Metabolic Risk

                Endocrinology & Diabetes


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