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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2018 Jan;19(1):40-45.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.07.006. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Validation of the Korean Version of the SARC-F Questionnaire to Assess Sarcopenia: Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study.

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Department of Medicine, Graduate school, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
College of Medicine/East-West Medical Research Institute, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Elderly Frailty Research Center, Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:



The SARC-F is a simple sarcopenia screening tool comprising 5 assessment items: strength, assistance walking, rising from a chair, climbing stairs, and falls. The present study aimed to examine the validation of the Korean version of SARC-F for elderly individuals residing in communities.


From the first year baseline data of Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study, a total of 1222 elderly individuals (70 years and older) who met the study's selection criteria were included in the analysis.


The SARC-F was translated into the Korean language in a culturally responsive way. The total score was calculated by adding the scores on the 5 items. The participants were divided into 2 groups according to the total score (SARC-F <4 vs SARC-F ≥4), and its correlations with various factors including walking speed, hand grip, ability to perform everyday activities, and health-related quality of life, were examined by sex. In addition, the tool's validity was analyzed by comparing it with the European, international, and Asian sarcopenia working group diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia.


The prevalence of sarcopenia according to the SARC-F was 4.2% in among men and 15.3% in women. The sensitivity of the SARC-F was low compared with the European, international, and Asian criteria of sarcopenia [male (M): 11%-60%, female (F): 28%-34%]. However, SARC-F showed a high specificity (M: 96.6%-98%, F: 85%-87.7%) and a high negative predictive value (M: 89.2%-99.3%, F: 88.5%-98.4%). The participants in the SARC-F ≥4 group had poorer grip strength, slower walking speed, poorer physical performance, poorer cognitive function, and a lower quality of life (a high EuroQol-5 dimension score) than the participants in the SARC-F <4 group.


The Korean language version of SARC-F showed a high specificity and high negative predictive value. As such, the tool is useful for briefly ruling out sarcopenia in a clinical setting. In addition, diagnosis of sarcopenia using the SARC-F was found to be associated with physical performance, cognitive function, and the quality of life.


SARC-F; Sarcopenia; frailty; screening

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