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What is sarcopenia?

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Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function in the elderly. It has a high clinical impact and also affects a patient's quality of life, as it leads to a decline in mobility and independence [5].

  • The decline in skeletal muscle strength accelerates with age. An individual may have lost approximately 45-50% at the age of 75-85, and over 55% by the age of 85 years. [1,2]
  • Sarcopenia is prevalent, affecting 10 – 50% of people over 60 years of age. Even at a conservative estimate, sarcopenia affects more than 50million people today and will affect more than 200million people in the next 40 years.  [3, 4, 5]

Evidence suggests that sarcopenia is a reversible cause of disability and could benefit from intervention, especially at the early stage of the condition. [6]


  1. Evans, W., J Nutr, 1997. 127(5 Suppl): p. 998S-1003S.
  2. Lauretani, F., et al., J Appl Physiol, 2003. 95(5): p. 1851-1860.
  3. Baumgartner, R.N., et al., Am J Epidemiol., 1998. 147(8): p. 755-763.
  4. Janssen, I., et al., J Am Geriatr Soc, 2002. 50(5): p. 889-96.
  5. Cruz-Jentoft, A.J., et al., Age and Ageing, 2010. 39(4): p. 412-23.
  6. Rolland, Y., et al., The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 2008. 12(7): p. 433-50.