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Sarcopenia is Related to Mortality in the Acutely Hospitalized Geriatric Patient

Sipers, Walther M. W. H., de Blois, W., Schols, J. M. G. A., van Loon, L. J. C., Verdijk, Lex B.
The journal of nutrition, health & aging 2019 v.23 no.2 pp. 128-137
National Institutes of Health, body composition, body mass index, cachexia, elderly, fat mass index, gait, models, mortality, patients, physical activity, probability, sarcopenia, skeletal muscle
BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia is defined as low skeletal muscle mass with poor physical performance, representing a strong prognostic factor for mortality in older people. Although highly prevalent in hospitalized geriatric patients, it is unknown whether sarcopenia can also predict mortality in these patients. OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between sarcopenia according the criteria of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP), International Working Group on Sarcopenia (IWGS), Special Interest Group of Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders (SIG) and Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and 2-year mortality in acutely hospitalized geriatric patients. DESIGN: 81 patients (84±5 y) admitted to the acute geriatric ward participated in this study. Body composition assessment (bio-impedance, Maltron Bioscan 920-II) and physical performance tests were performed, and mortality information was retrieved through patient files. RESULTS: Prevalence rates of sarcopenia were 51% (EWGSOP), 75% (IWGS), 69% (SIG), and 27% (FNIH). Based on Cox proportional hazard ratio (HR) analysis, 2-year mortality was significantly higher in sarcopenic patients versus non-sarcopenic patients when using the EWGSOP (2-y: HR 4.310; CI-95%:2.092- 8.850; P<0.001) and FNIH criteria (2-y: HR 3.571; CI-95%:1.901-6.711; P<0.001). Skeletal muscle mass index, fat mass index, body mass index, phase angle and gait speed were significantly lower in the geriatric patients who deceased after 2 years versus those who were still alive. Cox proportional HR analyses showed that higher phase angle (HR 0.678; CI-95%:0.531- 0.864; P=0.002) and higher fat mass index (HR 0.839; CI-95%:0.758-0.928; P=0.001) significantly reduced 2-y mortality probability. Combining sarcopenia criteria and separate patient characteristics finally resulted in a model in which HRs for sarcopenia (EWGSOP and FNIH) as well as phase angle significantly predicted mortality probability. CONCLUSION: Sarcopenia is prevalent in acutely hospitalized geriatric patients and is associated with significantly higher 2-year mortality according the EWGSOP and FNIH criteria.