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J Nutr Health Aging. 2014 Mar;18(3):277-83. doi: 10.1007/s12603-013-0410-3.

A pilot study of the SARC-F scale on screening sarcopenia and physical disability in the Chinese older people.

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Birong Dong, No. 37 Guoxuexiang, Wuhou District, Chengdu, China, 610041,, FAX: 028-85422321.



The SARC-F scale is a newly developed tool to diagnose sarcopenia and obviate the need for measurement of muscle mass. SARC-F ≥ 4 is defined as sarcopenia. The questions of SARC-F cover physical functions targeting sarcopenia or initial presentation for sarcopenia. The aim of the study is to explore the application of SARC-F in the Chinese people.


Two hundred thirty Chinese people over 65 years old were assessed by the SARC-F scale, PSMS, Lawton IADL and the shortened version of the falls efficacy scale-international(the short FES-I). Hospitalization was investigated. Physical performance and strength were measured. The association of SARC-F with other scales or tests was analyzed.


Poor physical performance and grip strength were associated with SARC-F ≥ 4 independently (P<0.005). The κ value for agreement of SARC-F ≥ 4 and cutoff points of tests were 0.391 to 0.635. The short FES-I were correlated to SARC-F scores (Spearman's coefficient 0.692). Poor PSMS and Lawton IADL scores were associated with SARC-F ≥ 4(P=0.000) and SARC-F ≥ 4 was associated with hospitalization in the past 2 years (P=0.000).


The SARC-F scale can identify old Chinese people with impaired physical function who may suffered from sarcopenia. SARC-F judgment reflects fear of falling, indicates the hospitalization events and is associated with ability of daily life. Thus, SARC-F may be a simple and useful tool for screening individuals with impaired physical function. Further studies on SARC-F in Chinese people would be worthy.

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