Muscle wasting, known as sarcopenia, is an important health concern in older adults. In the past decade, four expert group consensus definitions of sarcopenia have been published. Each of these definitions includes a measure of muscle mass, but they differ in terms of the inclusion of muscle strength or muscle function, techniques used to adjust muscle mass, as well as cut offs for each variables. There is emerging evidence that at least some of these definitions are not equivalent and identify different people as sarcopenic as well as impact the association of sarcopenia with health. This presentation will explore how differences in the operationalization of sarcopenia impact the prevalence of sarcopenia, the agreement between definitions, and the magnitude of the association of sarcopenia with falls using data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). The implication of these findings on future sarcopenia research and clinical practice will be discussed.
Dr. Mayhew is a scientist working with the CLSA in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University. Her research interests include physical function, disability, and body composition in aging adults with a particular focus on issues surrounding how muscle wasting (sarcopenia) is measured.
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