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Korean J Intern Med. 2016 Nov;31(6):1054-1060. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Sarcopenia is an age-associated loss of muscle mass and decline in muscle strength; it is common in older adults and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Despite its prevalence, there is currently no universally adopted definition of sarcopenia. In addition to low muscle mass measurements, recent research has recognized the importance of muscle strength and physical performance. Aging induces changes in body composition, such as an increase in visceral fat and reduced muscle mass. Recently, the new concept of sarcopenic obesity has emerged, reflecting a combination of sarcopenia and obesity. The rapidly increasing prevalence and serious consequences of sarcopenic obesity are recognized as a critical public health risk in the aging society. Sarcopenia and obesity share several pathophysiological mechanisms, and they may potentiate each other. The present paper reviews the definitions and techniques used to measure sarcopenia, as well as the health outcomes of sarcopenic obesity. It also highlights the role of diminished muscle mass and strength in cardiometabolic disease mortality. Additional research may be needed to promote the identification and management of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity in the elderly population.


Aging; Muscles; Obesity; Sarcopenia

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