Systematic Literature Review on the Relationship Between Biomarkers of Sarcopenia and Quality of Life in Older People

J Frailty Aging. 2016;5(2):88-99. doi: 10.14283/jfa.2016.93.


Sarcopenia is a multi-faceted geriatric syndrome that is prevalent in the older population. It is an independent risk factor for a variety of devastating health outcomes that threaten the independence of older people. Quality of life is also very important to older people. The objective of this systematic review therefore was to determine the relationship between the biomarkers of sarcopenia (or sarcopenia) and health related quality of life in older people. Systematic searches were done using the electronic databases from MEDLINE and EMBASE. Search terms included sarcopenia, biomarkers of sarcopenia (e.g. muscle mass, grip strength, muscle performance), and health related quality of life. A total of 20 studies were finally included in this review. Only four studies were deemed of good quality. Sarcopenia was associated with poor health related quality of life in both genders from the one cross sectional study defining sarcopenia as per consensus definition. One high quality longitudinal study demonstrated that better physical performance and muscle strength was associated with a slower rate of decline in health related quality of life over six years. Muscle performance and strength were associated with health related quality of life but muscle mass was not in cross-sectional studies. Good quality and longitudinal studies where sarcopenia is defined as per consensus guidelines are required if the impact of the disease on quality of life is to be clarified.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging* / physiology
  • Aging* / psychology
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sarcopenia* / diagnosis
  • Sarcopenia* / psychology


  • Biomarkers