Deakin University

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Sarcopenia prevalence and functional outcomes in older men with obesity: Comparing the use of the EWGSOP2 sarcopenia versus ESPEN-EASO sarcopenic obesity consensus definitions

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-02, 06:23 authored by David ScottDavid Scott, Fiona Blyth, Vasi Naganathan, David G Le Couteur, David J Handelsman, Louise M Waite, Vasant Hirani
BACKGROUND & AIMS: The potential for older adults with obesity to also have sarcopenia, and the health consequences of 'sarcopenic obesity', may be underappreciated by health professionals. The primary aim of this secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study of older men was to explore the prevalence and functional outcomes of sarcopenic obesity based on different consensus definitions. METHODS: 1416 community-dwelling men aged ≥70 years were classified into sarcopenia categories according to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) definition, and sarcopenic obesity categories according to the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism and the European Association for the Study of Obesity (ESPEN-EASO) definition. Descriptive analyses determined prevalence of sarcopenia in obese and non-obese older men. Multivariable analyses compared associations with functional outcomes including activity of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) disability and 12-month incident falls. RESULTS: According to the EWGSOP2 definition, 12.6% of men had confirmed sarcopenia but only 0.3% of men had sarcopenia and obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). Conversely, 9.6% of men had sarcopenic obesity according to the ESPEN-EASO definition. Notably, no men with a BMI ≥32 kg/m2 were classified as having EWGSOP2-confirmed sarcopenia, despite the fact that 60.8% of all men with BMI ≥32 kg/m2 had low muscle strength. Due to low numbers (N = 4) of obese older men with EWGSOP2-confirmed sarcopenia, associations with functional outcomes were not assessed. Men with sarcopenic obesity according to the ESPEN-EASO definition had significantly lower hand grip strength, higher chair-stands time and slower gait speed (all P < 0.05), increased odds for ADL (odds ratio: 5.02, 95% CI: 1.85-13.58) and IADL (2.18, 1.38-3.45) disability, and higher 12-month incident falls rates (incident rate ratio: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.03-2.44) than men with neither sarcopenia nor obesity. CONCLUSION: Low muscle strength is common in older men with obesity, but the prevalence of sarcopenia is likely to be underestimated when the EWGSOP2 operational definition is applied in this population. The ESPEN-EASO operational definition of sarcopenic obesity appears to provide a valid approach for identifying older men with obesity who are at risk of poor functional outcomes related to sarcopenia.



Clinical Nutrition













Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal




Elsevier BV