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Phillips, Amanda; Strobl, Ralf; Vogt, S.; Ladwig, K.-H.; Thorand, B.; Grill, Eva (2017): Sarcopenia is associated with disability status-results from the KORA-Age study. In: Osteoporosis international : a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA, Vol. 28, No. 7: pp. 2069-2079
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Abstract

We estimated the prevalence of sarcopenia and its impact on disability in older people. Sarcopenia was found to contribute to higher disability scores. However, our study was not able to show any influence of sarcopenia on the rate of functional decline. This directs attention to an accurate diagnosis of sarcopenia as the onset may be influenced, but its rate may not. INTRODUCTION The objectives of this study using data from a population-based cohort were to estimate the prevalence of sarcopenia in older people in Germany and to test the hypothesis that sarcopenia is associated with disability in older adults. METHODS Cross-sectional (n~=~927) and longitudinal analyses (n~=~859) of participants aged \geq65~years at baseline from southern Germany enrolled in the Cooperative Health Research in the Region Augsburg (KORA)-Age study (2009-2012). Sarcopenia was defined based on the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) algorithm which includes the presence of both low muscle mass and low muscle function (strength or performance). Disability status was measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI). The presence of disability was defined as HAQ-DI \textgreater0. Directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) were constructed to identify potential confounders. The effect of sarcopenia on disability was analyzed using linear mixed effect models with disability values as a continuous outcome. RESULTS The overall prevalence of sarcopenia was 5.7% (men 4.0%, women 7.5%) and increased with age. The 3-year incidence of disability was 32.7%. After adjustment for potential confounders, presence of sarcopenia was significantly associated with higher disability scores (0.142 confidence interval 0.029-0.254). CONCLUSION The prevalence of sarcopenia is consistent with estimates from other European studies using this algorithm. Our results suggest that sarcopenia can contribute to higher disability scores in older adults. However, our study was not able to show any influence of sarcopenia on the rate of functional decline using the EWGSOP diagnostic algorithm for sarcopenia. This directs attention to an accurate diagnosis of sarcopenia as the onset may be influenced, but its rate may not.