The economic burden of sarcopenia is also significant and reported to be comparable to that attributable to osteoporosis2. The burden of Sarcopenia is set to escalate in the coming years in Australian and throughout the western world given the increased longevity of these populations, and reduced physical activity.
Causes and diagnosis of sarcopenia
Sarcopenia can be caused by a number of factors and resulting from other disease states. The age-related loss of muscle fibre however is most commonly associated with reduced physical activity and insufficient nutrition.
The diagnosis of sarcopenia is difficult as there are no commonly accepted clinical guidelines. However there are suggested cut-off points for diagnosing sarcopenia including measurements of muscle mass, muscle strength and physical performance, as published by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People.
Lifestyle changes including exercise and nutrition can help manage sarcopenia. Current research aims to investigate the role of both nutrition and physical activity on treating and also preventing age-related sarcopenia by building and protecting muscle mass.
Our role and the role of health care organisations is to translate our research knowledge into evidence-based interventions and preventions for sarcopenia
- Cruz-Jentoft AJ et al. Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis. Report of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Age Ageing 2010.
- Roubenoff R. Sarcopenic obesity: the confluence of two epidemics. Obes Res 2004;12:887–8.