A 3-Item SARC-F

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2018 Mar;19(3):223-228. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Nov 1.


Objectives: To examine individual items of the SARC-F in predicting adverse outcomes.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Community-dwelling older people in Hong Kong SAR China.

Participants: A total of 4000 men and women aged 65 years and over, stratified in 3 age groups (65-69, 70-74, 75+ years of age).

Measurements: Information was collected by questionnaire, on sociodemographic details, lifestyle habits, cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination, depression using the Geriatric Depression Scale, SARC-F, and physical limitation in daily activities. Physical performance measures include chair stand and walking speed. Adverse outcomes included physical limitation, lower limb strength using repeated chair stands, slow walking speed, length of hospital stay, and mortality. Predictive ability of each item of the SARC-F was assessed using receiver operating characteristic curve. Stepwise model was used to assess incremental predictive ability.

Results: The overall ranking of the questions in order of highest predictability in terms of area under the curve values were strength, climb stairs, assistance in walking, rise from a chair, and falls. The first 3 questions individually predicted all the adverse outcomes, and in stepwise models of the individual questions, a combination of these 3 questions gave the highest area under the curve values.

Conclusions: The 5-item SARC-F may be shortened to 3 items (strength, climb stairs, and assistance in walking) in rapid screening for sarcopenia in clinical practice.

Keywords: Sarcopenia; chair stand; mortality; physical limitation; screening; walking speed.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Mortality / trends
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sarcopenia / diagnosis*
  • Walking Speed / physiology