Poor Dietary Protein Intake in Elderly Population with Sarcopenia and Osteosarcopenia: A Nationwide Population-Based Study

J Bone Metab. 2020 Nov;27(4):301-310. doi: 10.11005/jbm.2020.27.4.301. Epub 2020 Nov 30.


Background: Our purpose in this study was to evaluate any deficiency of protein intake for different types of sarcopenia, including osteosarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity and to establish a cut-off value for the relationship between malnutrition, sarcopenia, and osteosarcopenia.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was performed using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A total of 4,020 participants (men, 1,698 and women, 2,322) were analyzed in the present study. Sarcopenia is defined according to the criteria for the Asia Working Group for Sarcopenia. To evaluate the adequacy of protein intake, the value obtained by dividing the amount of protein consumed through food by the daily recommended protein amount (50 g/day) of Korean males was defined as the nutrient intake ratio.

Results: Total protein (P<0.001 in men, P<0.001 in women) and low dietary intake protein (P<0.001 in men, P=0.046 in women) were significantly lower in the sarcopenia group than in the normal group, and were significantly lower in the osteosarcopenia group than in the normal group for both men and women. The cut-off value of the adjusted weight of protein intake for sarcopenia was 0.58 g/kg/day in men and 0.98 g/kg/day in women. The cut-off value for adjusted weight of protein intake for osteo-sarcopenia was 0.8 g/kg/day in men and 0.5 g/kg/day in women.

Conclusions: A comprehensive dietary assessment to detect nutritional deficits that predispose one to or aggravate muscle atrophy is important for establishing a treatment plan for patients with malnutrition.

Keywords: Aged; Dietary proteins; Osteoporosis; Sarcopenia.