Original Study| Volume 21, ISSUE 6, P752-758, June 2020

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Sarcopenia in Korean Community-Dwelling Adults Aged 70 Years and Older: Application of Screening and Diagnostic Tools From the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia 2019 Update

  • Miji Kim
    Department of Biomedical Science and Technology, College of Medicine, East-West Medical Research Institute, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
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  • Chang Won Won
    Address correspondence to Chang Won Won, MD, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 23, Kyung Hee Dae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.
    Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
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      To describe the prevalence of sarcopenia in a large group of community-dwelling older adults using the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia (AWGS) 2019 definition and algorithm.


      Cross-sectional data analysis of a cohort study.


      The Nationwide Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study (KFACS).


      A total of 2123 ambulatory community-dwelling older adults, aged 70 to 84 years (mean, 75.9 ± 3.9 years; 49.5% women) were enrolled in the KFACS.


      Appendicular skeletal muscle mass was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Physical function was assessed by handgrip strength, usual gait speed, the 5-times-sit-to-stand test, the timed up-and-go test, and the Short Physical Performance Battery. In a case-finding assessment, screening for sarcopenia was performed using the calf circumference (CC), SARC-F questionnaire, and SARC-F combined with CC (SARC-CalF).


      According to the AWGS 2019 algorithm, 43.5%, 7.5%, and 26.0% of the subjects in the whole study sample were classified as those at risk for sarcopenia according to CC, SARC-F, and SARC-CalF, respectively. The prevalence rates of possible sarcopenia using 3 screening tools for case-finding and muscle strength or physical performance tests according to the AWGS 2019 diagnostic algorithm were 20.1% in men and 29.2% in women. The prevalence rates of sarcopenia, when defined as low muscle mass plus low handgrip strength and/or slow gait speed, were significantly higher according to the AWGS 2019 (21.3% in men and 13.8% in women) than the AWGS 2014 (10.3% in men and 8.1% in women) definitions. The prevalence of severe sarcopenia was 6.4% in men and 3.2% in women.


      The results of our study suggest that the use of CC and SARC-CalF to screen for possible sarcopenia may be more suited than using the SARC-F questionnaire alone according to the AWGS 2019 diagnostic algorithm in community-dwelling adults aged 70 to 84 years. The prevalence of sarcopenia was significantly higher according to the AWGS 2019 than AWGS 2014 criteria.


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