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J Bone Metab. 2018 Aug;25(3):187-193. doi: 10.11005/jbm.2018.25.3.187. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

Association between Sarcopenia, Sarcopenic Obesity, and Chronic Disease in Korean Elderly.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Yeonsung University, Anyang, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



It is a very important social issue for Korea to have a healthy old age as an aged society. Aging causes a lot of physical changes, especially sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is defined as a persistent decrease in skeletal muscle and muscle strength. Sarcopenic obesity is a phenomenon in which fat is replaced instead of muscle. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity in Korean elderly and to analyze the relationship with chronic disease.


Data from the 2008 to 2011 the Korea National Health and Nutrition Survey were used. A total of 3,492 patients were classified into 3 groups (non-sarcopenia, sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity), and general, anthropometry, health behavior, nutrient intake and chronic disease status were compared by the statistical analysis.


The rate of moderate exercise was significantly lower in the sarcopenia and sarcopenic-obesity group than in the non-sarcopenia group (P=0.007). The sarcopenic obesity group had significantly higher energy (P=0.005), protein (P=0.046) and fat (P=0.001) intake than the sarcopenic group. The sarcopenic-obesity group had the highest ratio of diabetes (P=0.023) and dyslipidemia (P=0.004) in the 3 groups. Compared with the non-sarcopenia group, in the sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity groups, the odds ratios (ORs) of diabetes was increased by 1.24 and 2.16 while the ORs of dyslipidemia was increased by 1.12 and 1.50, respectively.


Regular exercise and adequate nutrient intake (energy, protein and fat) are essential for the prevention of sarcopenia in Korean elderly, and management of chronic disease in sarcopenic obesity elderly is important.


Aged; Chronic disease; Healthy lifestyle; Obesity; Sarcopenia

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