Original Study| Volume 19, ISSUE 8, P690-695, August 2018

The Prevalence of Sarcopenia in Chinese Elderly Nursing Home Residents: A Comparison of 4 Diagnostic Criteria



      To investigate the prevalence and associated factors of sarcopenia defined by different criteria in nursing home residents.


      A cross-sectional study.


      Four nursing homes in Chengdu, China.


      Elderly adults aged 65 years or older.


      We applied 4 diagnostic criteria [European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP), Asia Working Group for Sarcopenia (AWGS), International Working Group on Sarcopenia (IWGS), and Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH)] to define sarcopenia. Muscle mass, strength, and function were measured based on bioimpedance analysis, handgrip strength, and walking speed, respectively. Nutrition status, activities of daily living, calf circumference (CC), and other covariates were evaluated.


      We included 277 participants. The prevalence of sarcopenia was 32.5%, 34.3%, 38.3%, and 31.4% according to the EWGSOP, AWGS, IWGS, and FNIH criteria, respectively. Fifty-eight participants (20.9%) were sarcopenic by all the 4 criteria. Regardless of the diagnostic criteria of sarcopenia, malnutrition was independently associated with sarcopenia [EWGSOP: odds ratio (OR) 4.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-15.39; IWGS: OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.23-4.90; AWGS: OR 3.29, 95% CI 1.49-7.28; FNIH: OR 4.52, 95% CI 1.28-16.00], whereas CC was negatively associated with sarcopenia [EWGSOP: OR per standard deviation (SD) 0.32, 95% CI 0.20-0.52; IWGS: OR per SD 0.26, 95% CI 0.15-0.43; AWGS: OR per SD 0.32, 95% CI 0.19-0.52; FNIH: OR per SD 0.39, 95% CI 0.25-0.60]. Furthermore, falls ≥1 time in the past year were associated with AWGS-defined sarcopenia (OR 2.92, 95% CI 1.04-8.22).


      Sarcopenia is highly prevalent in elderly Chinese nursing home residents regardless of the diagnostic criteria. Malnutrition and CC are associated with sarcopenia defined by different criteria. Therefore, it is important to assess sarcopenia and malnutrition in the management of nursing home residents. Prospective studies addressing the outcomes of sarcopenia in nursing home residents are warranted.


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