Purpose of review: Highly 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 findings: The 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.
Summary: Considering 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.