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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Feb;71(2):265-72. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv089. Epub 2015 Aug 11.

Identifying Sarcopenia in Metabolic Syndrome: Data from the Berlin Aging Study II.

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Research Group on Geriatrics and.
Research Group on Geriatrics and Institute of Medical and Human Genetics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Research Group on Geriatrics and



The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors which has been linked with a decline in muscle mass. However, with a variety of sarcopenia definitions, it is unclear which approach is suitable to detect reduced muscle mass in subjects with MetS who are frequently characterized by an increased fat mass and higher body weight.


We analyzed cross-sectional data of 1,402 (51.1% female; 69±3.7 years) old community-dwelling subjects of the Berlin Aging Study II. MetS was defined according to the guidelines of the International Diabetes Federation/American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (IDF/AHA/NHLBI, 2009). Sarcopenia was defined as suggested by Baumgartner et al. (low appendicular lean mass corrected for height, ALM/HT(2)) and according to standardized residuals following the approach suggested by Newman et al., which corrects appendicular lean mass (ALM) for weight and height.


MetS was identified in 35% of the participants, 25.6% had sarcopenia according to ALM/HT(2), 20% according to the residual approach. We compared the two operational parameters and found that the majority of physical and metabolic parameters were more impaired and self-reported difficulties in physical performance were greater in individuals defined sarcopenic according to residuals than subjects who were sarcopenic according to a low ALM/HT(2).


Our results indicate that an approach to define sarcopenia which corrects ALM both for height and weight is more suitable to detect increased physical limitations as well as higher metabolic impairment, compared to adjustment of ALM only for height.


Metabolic syndrome; Physical function; Sarcopenia

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