Relationship between Sarcopenia and Mortality in Elderly Inpatients

Eurasian J Med. 2020 Feb;52(1):29-33. doi: 10.5152/eurasianjmed.2020.19214.


Objective: Sarcopenia, a geriatric syndrome, is an indicator of poor prognosis in elderly inpatients. In this study, we aimed to determine the effect of sarcopenia on mortality in elderly patients.

Materials and methods: Mobile/immobile geriatric inpatients, treated in the internal medicine ward between February and November 2018, were included in the study between Days 2 and 7 of hospitalization. The patients' fat-free mass (FFM) was measured by bioimpedance. The FFM index (FFMI) (kg/m2) was determined by dividing fat-free mass by body surface area (FFM/BSA). Sarcopenia was defined as a FFMI value at least two standard deviations below the gender-specific mean of normal young adults.

Results: The study included 200 geriatric inpatients; 96 (48.0%) were men, and the mean age was 74.49±6.32 years. Sarcopenia was detected in 28 (14%) of the patients. Diabetes mellitus was associated with a significantly lower sarcopenia prevalence (p=0.006). The risk of sarcopenia was 9.046 times higher in malnourished patients. The sarcopenia group had more deaths (p=0.012).

Conclusion: Sarcopenia in geriatric inpatients increased the length of hospital stay and mortality. Our findings may guide future studies examining the relationship between sarcopenia and mortality among elderly inpatients in other hospitals.

Keywords: Sarcopenia; aged; mortality.