Background: It is unknown if physical activity and good diet quality modify the risk of poor outcomes, such as mortality, among older adults with sarcopenia.
Aim: To examine if physical activity and good diet quality modify the risk of poor outcomes, such as mortality, among older adults with sarcopenia.
Methods: A population-based cohort study among 1618 older adults with sarcopenia from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES III; 1988-1994). Sarcopenia was defined by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Physical activity was self-reported, and classified as sedentary (0 bouts per week), physically inactive (1-4 bouts per week), and physically active (≥5 bouts per week). Diet quality was assessed with the healthy eating index (a scale of 0-100 representing adherence to federal dietary recommendations), and classified as poor (<51), fair (51-80), and good (>80) diet quality.
Results: Compared to participants who were sedentary, those who were physically inactive were 16 % less likely to die [HR 0.84 (95 % CI 0.64-1.09)], and those who were physically active were 25 % less likely to die [HR 0.75 (95 % CI 0.59-0.97); P trend = 0.026]. Compared to participants with poor diet quality, those with fair diet quality were 37 % less likely to die [HR 0.63 (95 % CI 0.47-0.86)], and those with good diet quality were 45 % less likely to die [HR 0.55 (95 % CI 0.37-0.80); P trend = 0.002].
Conclusions: Participation in physical activity and consumption of a healthy diet correspond with a lower risk of mortality among older adults with sarcopenia. Randomized trials are needed in this population.
Keywords: Behavior; Energy balance; Exercise; Lifestyle; Population-based.