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Clin Geriatr Med. 2011 Aug;27(3):355-63. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2011.03.004. Epub 2011 May 14.

The epidemiology of sarcopenia.

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School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada.


The term sarcopenia was coined in 1989 and refers to the age-related loss in skeletal muscle mass. Operational definitions of sarcopenia have been used in research studies to identify older persons with healthy muscle mass values (normal) and older adults with unacceptably low muscle mass values (sarcopenic). Despite the enormous research on sarcopenia that has been completed in the past 20 years, sarcopenia currently receives little attention in the clinical setting. To address this issue, the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People recently developed a consensus definition of sarcopenia. The availability of a consensus definition may assist with the integration of sarcopenia into mainstream geriatric assessment.

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