Understanding sarcopenia as a geriatric syndrome


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewHighly prevalent in the population older than 65 years and leading to poor outcomes (functional decline and its related consequences), sarcopenia does not benefit yet either of a clear understanding of its pathophysiology or of precise clinical or biological markers allowing its identification.Recent findingsThe new scientific definition of ‘geriatric syndromes’ challenges the authors to review the current sarcopenia literature, allowing them to affirm that sarcopenia cannot be considered as an age-related disease but as a true ‘geriatric syndrome’. More than 50% of the population older than 80 years suffer from this medical condition, which is linked to multiple causations: the ageing process itself, genetic susceptibility, certain life habits, changes in living conditions and a number of chronic diseases. Moreover, sarcopenia favours poor outcomes such as mobility disorders, disability, poor quality of life and death.SummaryConsidering sarcopenia as a geriatric syndrome allows us to request its recognition and assess its multiple risk factors, to implement a clinical and public health approach to the management of sarcopenic patients and population at risk and to disentangle the links among sarcopenia, frailty, disability and mortality.

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