Original Study| Volume 21, ISSUE 12, P2017.e1-2017.e9, December 2020

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Biomarkers Profile of People With Sarcopenia: A Cross-sectional Analysis From UK Biobank

  • Fanny Petermann-Rocha
    Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

    British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
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  • Stuart R. Gray
    British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
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  • Jill P. Pell
    Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
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  • Carlos Celis-Morales
    Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

    British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

    Centre of Exercise Physiology Research (CIFE), Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile

    Research Group in Education, Physical Activity and Health (GEEAFyS), Universidad Católica del Maule, Talca, Chile
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  • Frederick K. Ho
    Address correspondence to Frederick K. Ho, PhD, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RZ, United Kingdom.
    Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
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      This study aimed to characterize the biomarker profile of sarcopenic vs nonsarcopenic men and women, using the current European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) definition in the UK Biobank study.


      Cross-sectional study.

      Setting and Participants

      A total of 396,707 (68.8% women, age 38 to 73) participants from UK Biobank.


      Thirty-three biomarkers, standardized to sex-specific z-scores, were included in the analysis. Associations between these biomarkers and sarcopenia, defined using EWGSOP2 criteria, were examined using multiple linear regression.


      Higher concentrations of rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, cystatin C, sex hormone-binding globulin, gamma-glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and total protein, as well as lower concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1, albumin, creatinine, sodium, and systolic blood pressure, were associated with sarcopenia in both men and women. However, some of the associations differed by sex. Sarcopenia was associated with higher concentrations of phosphate, lipoprotein A, and lower of diastolic blood pressure, HbA1c, urea, glucose, total bilirubin, and testosterone in women only, and with higher concentrations of high-density lipoprotein, aspartate aminotransferase, and direct bilirubin and lower values of apolipoprotein A, vitamin D, and apolipoprotein B in men only.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Several biomarkers were associated with sarcopenia in men and women using the new EWGSOP2 statement. However, some of these associations and their magnitude differed between men and women. Considering the EWGSOP2 updated its statement on the definition of sarcopenia in 2019, this study enables us to update the study of the biomarkers profile of people with sarcopenia.


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