Background: in 2010, the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) published a sarcopenia definition that aimed to foster advances in identifying and caring for people with sarcopenia. In early 2018, the Working Group met again (EWGSOP2) to update the original definition in order to reflect scientific and clinical evidence that has built over the last decade. This paper presents our updated findings.
Objectives: to increase consistency of research design, clinical diagnoses and ultimately, care for people with sarcopenia.
Recommendations: sarcopenia is a muscle disease (muscle failure) rooted in adverse muscle changes that accrue across a lifetime; sarcopenia is common among adults of older age but can also occur earlier in life. In this updated consensus paper on sarcopenia, EWGSOP2: (1) focuses on low muscle strength as a key characteristic of sarcopenia, uses detection of low muscle quantity and quality to confirm the sarcopenia diagnosis, and identifies poor physical performance as indicative of severe sarcopenia; (2) updates the clinical algorithm that can be used for sarcopenia case-finding, diagnosis and confirmation, and severity determination and (3) provides clear cut-off points for measurements of variables that identify and characterise sarcopenia.
Conclusions: EWGSOP2's updated recommendations aim to increase awareness of sarcopenia and its risk. With these new recommendations, EWGSOP2 calls for healthcare professionals who treat patients at risk for sarcopenia to take actions that will promote early detection and treatment. We also encourage more research in the field of sarcopenia in order to prevent or delay adverse health outcomes that incur a heavy burden for patients and healthcare systems.