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Clin Nutr. 2019 Aug;38(4):1489-1495. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.09.026. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Financial impact of sarcopenia or low muscle mass - A short review.

Author information

1
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Research Group on Geriatrics, Working Group Nutrition and Body Composition, Berlin, Germany; German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Dept. of Nutrition and Gerontology, Germany; University of Potsdam, Institute of Nutritional Science, Potsdam, Germany. Electronic address: kristina.norman@charite.de.
2
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Research Group on Geriatrics, Working Group Nutrition and Body Composition, Berlin, Germany; German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke, Dept. of Nutrition and Gerontology, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Low muscle mass is associated with increased falls, medical complications, length of hospital stay and loss of independence. An increasing number of studies has also shown the association between sarcopenia and health care expenditure. The following narrative review summarizes the current evidence on the economic relevance of low muscle mass (MM) or sarcopenia.

METHODS:

An extensive search of the literature in Medline identified twelve studies in English, which evaluated direct and indirect health care expenditure in patients with low muscle mass or sarcopenia (low MM and strength or mobility).

RESULTS:

Three studies analysed the cost of age-related loss of MM or strength in large surveys of the general, older population. Six retrospective analyses evaluated perioperative medical costs related to low MM in primarily older patients from different medical areas. One prospective study presented hospital costs related to sarcopenia in patients with gastric cancer. Two studies presented data from general hospital patients. Despite the difference in diagnostic criteria, study population and statistical design, low MM and sarcopenia were consistently identified as predictors of increased health care expenditure in community, perioperative and general hospital settings.

CONCLUSIONS:

Low MM and sarcopenia are prevalent and associated with significantly higher health care costs. Considering the demographic change, which will lead to an increasing number of patients with sarcopenia, every effort should be made to identify and treat patients with sarcopenia. The use of a unified definition and diagnostic criteria would allow a better comparison of data.

KEYWORDS:

Costs; Health care expenditure; Low muscle mass; Sarcopenia

PMID:
30316536
DOI:
10.1016/j.clnu.2018.09.026

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