Global prevalence of sarcopenia and severe sarcopenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Petermann-Rocha, F., Balntzi, V., Gray, S. R. , Lara, J., Ho, F. K., Pell, J. P. and Celis-Morales, C. (2022) Global prevalence of sarcopenia and severe sarcopenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, 13(1), pp. 86-99. (doi: 10.1002/jcsm.12783) (PMID:34816624) (PMCID:PMC8818604)

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Background: Sarcopenia is defined as the loss of muscle mass and strength. Despite the seriousness of this disease, a single diagnostic criterion has not yet been established. Few studies have reported the prevalence of sarcopenia globally, and there is a high level of heterogeneity between studies, stemmed from the diagnostic criteria of sarcopenia and the target population. The aims of this systematic review and meta-analysis were (i) to identify and summarize the diagnostic criteria used to define sarcopenia and severe sarcopenia and (ii) to estimate the global and region-specific prevalence of sarcopenia and severe sarcopenia by sociodemographic factors. Methods: Embase, MEDLINE, and Web of Science Core Collections were searched using relevant MeSH terms. The inclusion criteria were cross-sectional or cohort studies in individuals aged ≥18 years, published in English, and with muscle mass measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, bioelectrical impedance, or computed tomography (CT) scan. For the meta-analysis, studies were stratified by diagnostic criteria (classifications), cut-off points, and instruments to assess muscle mass. If at least three studies reported the same classification, cut-off points, and instrument to measure muscle mass, they were considered suitable for meta-analysis. Following this approach, 6 classifications and 23 subgroups were created. Overall pooled estimates with inverse-variance weights obtained from a random-effects model were estimated using the metaprop command in Stata. Results: Out of 19 320 studies, 263 were eligible for the narrative synthesis and 151 for meta-analysis (total n = 692 056, mean age: 68.5 years). Using different classifications and cut-off points, the prevalence of sarcopenia varied between 10% and 27% in the studies included for meta-analysis. The highest and lowest prevalence were observed in Oceania and Europe using the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) and EWGSOP2, respectively. The prevalence ranged from 8% to 36% in individuals <60 years and from 10% to 27% in ≥60 years. Men had a higher prevalence of sarcopenia using the EWGSOP2 (11% vs. 2%) while it was higher in women using the International Working Group on Sarcopenia (17% vs. 12%). Finally, the prevalence of severe sarcopenia ranged from 2% to 9%. Conclusions: The prevalence of sarcopenia and severe sarcopenia varied considerably according to the classification and cut-off point used. Considering the lack of a single diagnostic for sarcopenia, future studies should adhere to current guidelines, which would facilitate the comparison of results between studies and populations across the globe.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:F.P.-R. receives financial support from the Chilean Government for doing her PhD (ANID-Becas Chile 2018—72190067).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Celis, Dr Carlos and Gray, Professor Stuart and Ho, Dr Frederick and Pell, Professor Jill and Petermann-Rocha, Mrs Fanny and Balntzi, Miss Viktoria
Authors: Petermann-Rocha, F., Balntzi, V., Gray, S. R., Lara, J., Ho, F. K., Pell, J. P., and Celis-Morales, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle
ISSN (Online):2190-6009
Published Online:23 November 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle 13(1): 86-99
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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