Muscle and Bone Mass Loss in the Elderly Population: Advances in diagnosis and treatment

J Biomed (Syd). 2018:3:40-49. doi: 10.7150/jbm.23390.


Aging is the result of different functional changes leading to a substantial reduction of all human capabilities. A variety of anatomical and physiological changes occur with advancing age. These changes are more evident in the elderly population. There are various methods to measure muscle and bone mass loss, but the dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is considered one of the most efficient. The elderly population (65 years and older) has been increasing throughout the years. Loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and loss bone mass (osteopenia or osteoporosis) with advancing age, when untreated, represent a major public health problem for the elderly population and may result in loss of independence in later life. Untreated age-related sarcopenia and osteopenia/osteoporosis increase the risk for falls and fractures, making older individuals more susceptible to the development of mobility limitations or severe disabilities that ultimately affect their capacity for independence. In this review, we will discuss the muscle and bone mass loss in the elderly population and advances in diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Sarcopenia.