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J Nutr Health Aging. 2013 Mar;17(3):259-62. doi: 10.1007/s12603-012-0434-0.

Mortality as an adverse outcome of sarcopenia.

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Education Department at Instituto de Geriatría, México DF.


Sarcopenia has an important impact in elderly. Recently the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) defined sarcopenia as the loss of muscle mass plus low muscle strength or low physical performance. Lack of clinical sounding outcomes (ie external validity), is one of the flaws of this algorithm. The aim of our study was to determine the association of sarcopenia and mortality in a group of Mexican elderly. A total of 345 elderly were recruited in Mexico City, and followed up for three years. The EWGSOP algorithm was integrated by: gait speed, grip strength and calf circumference. Other covariates were assessed in order to test the independent association of sarcopenia with mortality. Of the 345 subjects, 53.3% were women; with a mean age of 78.5 (SD 7) years. During the three year follow-up a total of 43 (12.4%) subjects died. Age, cognition, ADL, IADL, health self-perception, ischemic heart disease and sarcopenia were associated in the bivariate analysis with survival. Negative predictive value for sarcopenia regarding mortality was of 90%. Kaplan-Meier curves along with their respective log-rank test were significant for sarcopenia. The components of the final Cox-regression multivariate model were age, ischemic heart disease, ADL and sarcopenia. Adjusted HR for age was 3.24 (CI 95% 1.55-6.78 p 0.002), IHD 5.07 (CI 95% 1.89-13.59 p 0.001), health self-perception 5.07 (CI 95% 1.9-13.6 p 0.001), ADL 0.75 (CI 95% 0.56-0.99 p 0.048) and sarcopenia 2.39 (CI 95% 1.05-5.43 p 0.037).

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