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J Bone Metab. 2013 May;20(1):1-10. doi: 10.11005/jbm.2013.20.1.1. Epub 2013 May 13.

Sarcopenia: definition, epidemiology, and pathophysiology.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Center, Inje University, Busan, Korea.
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.


The epidemiological trends that characterize our generation are the aging of the population. Aging results in a progressive loss of muscle mass and strength called sarcopenia, which is Greek for 'poverty of flesh'. Sarcopenia could lead to functional impairment, physical disability, and even mortality. Today, sarcopenia is a matter of immense public concern for aging prevention. Its prevalence continues to rise, probably as a result of increasing elderly populations all over the world. This paper addressed the definition and epidemiology of sarcopenia and its underlying pathophysiology. In addition, we summarized the abundant information available in the literature related to sarcopenia, together with results from Korean sarcopenic obesity study (KSOS) that we performed.


Aging; Body composition; Muscle mass; Sarcopenia; Sarcopenic obesity

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