Association of cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms and sarcopenia among healthy older men in the veterans retirement community in southern Taiwan: a cross-sectional study

Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2014 Feb;14 Suppl 1:102-8. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12221.


Aim: To evaluate the association of cognitive impairment, depressive mood and sarcopenia among older men living in the veterans retirement community in southern Taiwan

Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 353 men aged 65 years and older. In addition to demographic characteristics, all participants were measured for gait speed, handgrip strength and muscle mass by using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). The diagnosis of sarcopenia was made according to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People criteria. Slow walking speed was defined as ≤ 0.8 meter/second. Low muscle strength was defined as the handgrip strength less than 22.5 kg which was adjusted according to Taiwanese norms. A height-adjusted muscle mass of 8.87 kg/m2 from a previous Taiwanese study was defined as low muscle mass. Cognitive function was evaluated by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 (GDS-15) was used for screening of depressive symptoms.

Results: Among the 353 participants (mean age 82.7 ± 5.3 years), 30.9% (109/353) were classified as sarcopenic. Multivariate logistic regression showed that sarcopenia was independently associated with cognitive impairment (adjusted OR 3.03, 95% CI 1.63-5.65, P < 0.001) and depressive symptoms (adjusted OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.03-4.89, P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Sarcopenia was significantly associated with cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms among otherwise healthy older men living in the veterans retirement community. Further outcome study is required to explore the interrelationship of cognition, depressive symptoms and sarcopenia in older adults.

Keywords: cognitive impairment; depressive mood; elderly; men; sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Gait
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Sarcopenia / complications*
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Veterans*