Anthropometric trajectory in the course of life and occurrence of sarcopenia in men and women: results from the ELSA-Brasil cohort

Br J Nutr. 2023 Aug 28;130(4):575-587. doi: 10.1017/S0007114522003531. Epub 2022 Nov 4.


This study aimed to identify patterns of anthropometric trajectories throughout life and to analyse their association with the occurrence of sarcopenia in people from the Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). It is a cross-sectional study involving 9670 public servants, aged 38-79 years, who answered the call for new data collection and exams, conducted approximately 4 years after the study baseline (2012-2014). Data sequence analysis was used to identify patterns of anthropometric trajectory. A theoretical model was elaborated based on the directed acyclic graph (DAG) to select the variables of minimum adjustment in the analysis of the causal effect between trajectory and sarcopenia. Poisson regression with robust variance was adopted for data analysis. The patterns of change in the anthropometric trajectory were classified in stable weight (T1); change to normal weight (T2); change to excess weight (T3); weight fluctuation (T4) and change to low weight (T5). The prevalence of sarcopenia in men and women who changed the anthropometric path for the low weight was twice as large when compared to participants with a stable weight trajectory. A protective effect of the excess weight trajectory was observed for the occurrence of sarcopenia in them. The results pointed to the need for health policies that encourage the proper management of body components in order to prevent and control obesity, as well as to preserve the quantity and quality of skeletal muscle mass throughout life, especially in older adults.

Keywords: Ageing; BMI; Chronic diseases; Sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body-Weight Trajectory*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Sarcopenia* / epidemiology