Summary: Numerous sarcopenia definitions are not associated with increased falls-related hospitalization risk over 5 years to 9.5 years in older community-dwelling Australian women. Measures of muscle strength and physical function, but not appendicular lean mass (measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) may help discriminate the risk of falls-related hospitalization.
Introduction: The aim of this prospective, population-based cohort study of 903 Caucasian-Australian women (mean age 79.9 ± 2.6 years) was to compare the clinical utility of four sarcopenia definitions for the prediction of falls-related hospitalization over 9.5 years.
Methods: The four definitions were the United States Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP), and modified FNIH (AUS-POP F ) and EWGSOP (AUS-POP E ) definitions using Australian population-specific cut points (< 2 SD below the mean of young healthy Australian women). Components of sarcopenia including muscle strength, physical function, and appendicular lean mass (ALM) were quantified using hand grip strength, timed-up-and-go (TUG), and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), respectively. Incident 9.5-year falls-related hospitalization were captured by linked data.
Results: Baseline prevalence of sarcopenia according to FNIH (9.4%), EWGSOP (24.1%), AUS-POP F (12.0%), and AUS-POP E (10.7%) differed substantially. Sarcopenia did not increase the relative hazard ratio (HR) for falls-related hospitalization before or after adjustment for age (aHR): FNIH aHR 1.00 95%CI (0.69–1.47), EWGSOP aHR 1.20 95%CI (0.93–1.54), AUS-POP F aHR 0.96 95%CI (0.68–1.35), and AUS-POP E aHR 1.33 95%CI (0.94–1.88). When examining individual components of sarcopenia, only muscle strength and physical function but not ALM (adjusted for height 2 or BMI) were associated with falls-related hospitalization.
Conclusion: Current definitions of sarcopenia were not associated with falls-related hospitalization risk in this cohort of community-dwelling older Australian women. Finally, measures of muscle strength and physical function, but not ALM (measured by DXA) may help discriminate the risk of falls-related hospitalization.
- Falls-related hospitalization
- Muscle mass
- Muscle strength
- Physical function