Harnish Patel is a Consultant Geriatrician and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton.
Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function with age is now recognised as a major clinical problem for older people. Sarcopenia is common and associated with serious health consequences in terms of frailty, disability, morbidity and mortality, not forgetting the high health care costs which have run into billions of dollars in the USA.
Research in the area is expanding exponentially.The European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) recently published consensus guidelines on the definition and diagnosis of sarcopenia. This definition was an important development in sarcopenia research and has provided a systematic approach not only in case finding but also in understanding aetiology and developing treatments. Using the working group definitions we have, for the first time, estimated the prevalence of sarcopenia in the UK. In our paper, the prevalence of sarcopenia was estimated to affect 4.6% men and 7.9% women with an average age of 67 years – broadly comparable to international estimates. Continue reading