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Toward the recognition and management of sarcopenia in routine clinical care

Abstract

Sarcopenia, the age-associated decline in skeletal muscle mass and function, is a major cause of functional decline and mortality in older adults. Despite its importance, sarcopenia often remains unrecognized and inadequately managed in routine clinical care. A major hinderance to its clinical integration is the variation in diagnostic tools for sarcopenia. Diagnostic tools include those of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (versions 1 and 2), those of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia (versions 1 and 2), and that of the Sarcopenia Definition and Outcomes Consortium. The management decision process of sarcopenia warrants an evaluation of risk factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, inadequate exercise, poor nutritional intake, smoking, depression and living circumstances. Herein, we provide an evidence-based update of the prevention and management of sarcopenia and propose practical information to facilitate the disease’s adoption into routine care.

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Fig. 1: Sarcopenia prevalence using results from the Singaporean Yishun Study, reported using EWGSOP-2 criteria.
Fig. 2: Potential strategies to increase the awareness and ultimately uptake of sarcopenia in clinical practice.

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Acknowledgements

D.S. is supported by an NHRMC investigator grant (GNT1174886). E.O.H. is supported by an NWO/ZonMw Veni fellowship (91618067).

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All authors conceived the review, and E.D. wrote the first draft. J.W., D.S. and E.O.H. provided critical feedback and wrote additional content for subsequent drafts. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Elsa Dent.

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Peer review information Nature Aging thanks Richard Dodds and Graziano Onder for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Dent, E., Woo, J., Scott, D. et al. Toward the recognition and management of sarcopenia in routine clinical care. Nat Aging 1, 982–990 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43587-021-00136-1

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