Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that accompanies ageing, has emerged as a key topic in geriatric medicine and represents a rapidly expanding field of research. Prevalence may be as high as 1 in 3 for frail older people living in care homes. There is increasing appreciation of sarcopenia’s importance for an ageing population and a growing understanding of its causes. The condition is closely linked to physical frailty and detection of sarcopenia is beginning to be incorporated into clinical practice, and to undergo large clinical trials.
To better represent this area the British Geriatrics Society has announced the formation of a new Special Interest Group (SIG) focusing on sarcopenia and frailty research.
In addition, to help raise the profile and aid the recognition of sarcopenia, a dedicated session covering diagnosis and treatment of the disease is being held at the BGS Autumn Meeting in Glasgow.
At the BGS Autumn Meeting over 700 geriatricians from around the UK have gathered to hear the latest research and share best practice relating to sarcopenia and frailty.. Speakers included experts such as Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, Dr Helen Roberts and Dr Miles Witham. Professor Sayer, who will be Chairing the Frailty and Sarcopenia Research SIG, has invited attendees of the sarcopenia session to join and help promote research in sarcopenia and frailty with the aim of improving identification, understanding, prevention and treatment of these conditions. Members of the new SIG will also help disseminate best practice and improve care for patients with sarcopenia and frailty.
To compliment the launch of the SIG and session, a collection of research addressing sarcopenia has been published in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the Society. The special Sarcopenia Collection, which includes 16 key papers from experts in the field of sarcopenia and frailty, is free to download. The collection includes ‘Association of Muscle Strength with Functional Status of Elderly People’, ‘Factors associated with grip strength decline in older adults’ and ‘Development of a self-administrated quality of life questionnaire for sarcopenia in elderly subjects: the SarQoL’
The new collection on Sarcopenia is available as a free download from the Age and Ageing website http://oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/ageing/sarcopenia_collection.html
Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, Chair of the new Frailty and Sarcopenia Research Special Interest Group, said:
“Sarcopenia and frailty have profound effects on the health and wellbeing of older people and are core business for geriatricians. I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to set up this Special Interest Group for everyone interested in keeping up to date or taking part in research in this exciting area.”