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New research shows how long-term conditions are linked to sarcopenia

One of our group’s main interests is sarcopenia, the accelerated loss of skeletal muscle which is more common at older ages and is linked to a range of health problems including disability. Recent European guidelines for the diagnosis of sarcopenia (with authors including Professor Avan Sayer, leader of the AGE Research Group) suggest that sarcopenia may also occur at younger ages in the setting of long-term conditions such as heart or liver disease. However, there has been little research in this area, especially to look at which long-term conditions pose the greatest risk of sarcopenia.  

In a new analysis of data from 499,046 people taking part in UK Biobank published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle we looked at the links between long-term conditions and sarcopenia, identified from low measured handgrip strength.  We found that overall 5% of people were likely to have sarcopenia. This became more common with age and with the number of long-term conditions, as shown in the bar chart. Long-term conditions affecting bones and joints, endocrine conditions such as diabetes and conditions affecting the brain and nervous system posed the greatest risk of sarcopenia.

These findings are important as they suggest that particular groups could be targeted for interventions in mid‐life aimed at the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.

You can read the full paper here.

Last modified: Mon, 06 Jan 2020 12:06:16 GMT