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Korean J Fam Med. 2013 Jul;34(4):281-8. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2013.34.4.281. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Association between Sarcopenia, Bone Density, and Health-Related Quality of Life in Korean Men.

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Department of Family Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass leading to decreased muscle strength, physical disability, and increased mortality. The genesis of both sarcopenia and osteoporosis is multifactorial, and several factors that play a role in osteoporosis are thought to contribute to sarcopenia. This study evaluated the association between sarcopenia and bone density and health-related quality of life in Korean men.


We used the data of 1,397 men over 50 years of age from the 2009 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Sarcopenia was defined as the appendicular skeletal muscle mass divided by height(2) (kg/m(2)) < 2 standard deviations below the sex-specific mean for young adults. Health-related quality of life was measured by the EuroQol-5 dimension (EQ-5D) instrument. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between sarcopenia, bone density, and health-related quality of life.


The T-score of the lumbar spine, total femur, and femur neck in bone mineral density in subjects with sarcopenia were lower than those in subjects without sarcopenia. The score of the EQ-5D index was significantly lower and the rate of having problems with individual components of health-related quality of life was higher in the sarcopenic group. After adjustment for age and body mass index, the odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence interval [CI]) for sarcopenia were 2.06 (1.07-3.96) in osteopenic subjects and 3.49 (1.52-8.02) in osteoporotic subjects, respectively. After adjustment, the total score of the EQ-5D index was significantly lower in the sarcopenic subjects. The ORs (95% CI) for having problems of mobility and usual activity of the EQ-5D descriptive system were 1.70 (1.02-2.84) and 1.90 (1.09-3.31), respectively.


Sarcopenia was associated with decreased bone mineral density in Korean men. In addition, sarcopenia was related to poor quality of life, especially with regard to mobility and usual activity. Greater attention to and evaluation for sarcopenia are needed in subjects showing low bone mineral density to prevent and manage poor quality of life.


Metabolic Bone Diseases; Osteoporosis; Quality of Life; Sarcopenia

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