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J Nutr Health Aging. 2019;23(3):256-265. doi: 10.1007/s12603-018-1150-1.

Rehabilitation Nutrition for Iatrogenic Sarcopenia and Sarcopenic Dysphagia.

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Hidetaka Wakabayashi, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Yokohama City University Medical Center, 4-57 Urafune-cho, Minami ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan, Tel: +81-45-261-5656 Fax: +81-45-253-9955, E-mail:


Sarcopenia is a very important issue in rehabilitation medicine and nutritional care. The prevalence of sarcopenia in older people is approximately 50% in the rehabilitation setting, and also approximately 15% of inpatients without sarcopenia upon admission developed sarcopenia during hospitalization. There is a concern that secondary sarcopenia may occur iatrogenically during hospitalization. Iatrogenic sarcopenia is defined as sarcopenia caused by the activities of medical staff including doctors, nurses, or other health care professionals in healthcare facilities. Iatrogenic sarcopenia is categorized into activity-related, nutrition-related and disease-related-iatrogenic sarcopenia. Especially in acute phase hospitals, concentrating on the treatment of diseases with less attention to nutrition and activity is more likely to cause iatrogenic sarcopenia. Sarcopenic dysphagia is also an important aspect in rehabilitation medicine and nutritional care. Sarcopenic dysphagia is characterized by swallowing difficulty because of a loss of mass and function in whole-body skeletal and swallowing muscles. Sarcopenic dysphagia can be diagnosed using a 5-step algorithm for the condition. Iatrogenic sarcopenia and sarcopenic dysphagia are affected by nutrition, activity and diseases in a complex manner. Therefore, treatment of iatrogenic sarcopenia and sarcopenic dysphagia requires comprehensive interventions through nutrition management and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation nutrition is effective for preventing and treating iatrogenic sarcopenia and sarcopenic dysphagia. Rehabilitation nutrition can be practiced more effectively and comprehensively by using the rehabilitation nutrition care process, which is a systematic problem-solving method. Further research is required to verify the efficacy of rehabilitation nutrition for preventing or improving iatrogenic sarcopenia and/or sarcopenic dysphagia.


Hospitalization-associated sarcopenia; KT index; rehabilitation nutrition care process; rehabilitation nutrition diagnosis; secondary sarcopenia


Conflict of interest statement

Hidetaka Wakabayashi reports a grant from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (grant number: 16K01460), during the conduct of the study. Ayano Nagano and Shinta Nishioka have nothing to disclose

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