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Prevalence of Sarcopenia and Associated Factors in Older Adults Attending a Day Hospital Service in Ireland

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posted on 27.04.2022, 11:50 authored by Kieron Connolly
Introduction: Sarcopenia is a muscle disease that is linked to the effects ageing, chronic diseases, reduced physical activity and poor nutrition. Sarcopenia is associated with various adverse outcomes including falls, disability and mortality. In Ireland, there is a lack of readily available information on sarcopenia in older adults.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and associated factors of sarcopenia in community dwelling older adults attending a day hospital service in Ireland, using the latest European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People guidelines (EWGSOP).

Methods: A cross sectional study design was implemented. Community dwelling older adults attending a day hospital service in Ireland were invited to participate. The primary outcome was the diagnosis of sarcopenia using the EWGSOP guidelines. Secondary outcomes included elements of a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment: cognition, nutrition, frailty and physical activity. A subgroup of participants were prescribed a accelerometer to objectively measure physical activity levels over 7 days.

Results: A total of 134 participants took part in the study with 41 in an accelerometer subgroup. The mean age of the study participants was 81.7 (SD +/- 7.1). Sixty-one percent (N=82) of the group were female. The prevalence of sarcopenia ranged from 27-37% depending on the assessment tool used to assess muscle strength. Sarcopenia was associated with ten different outcomes, irrespective of how muscle strength was measured. Independently associated factors differed depending on muscle strength test, except for older age. Sarcopenia, using grip strength and lower limb strength, was associated with increased amount of time spent in light physical activity measured using an accelerometer.

Conclusion: The prevalence of sarcopenia in the day hospital population ranges from 27-37%. The assessment tool used to assess muscle strength influences both the prevalence and associated factors of sarcopenia, highlighting a further need to standardise the assessment of sarcopenia. The range of associated factors highlights the multi-factorial nature of sarcopenia.

Funding

This work was supported by the Irish Research Council through an Employment Based Postgraduate Scholarship (EBPPG/2019/50).

History

First Supervisor

Prof. Frances Horgan

Second Supervisor

Prof. Roman Romero-Ortuno

Third Supervisor

Prof. Conal Cunningham

Fourth Supervisor

Ms Niamh Murphy

Comments

Submitted for the Award of Masters of Science: Research to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2020

Published Citation

Connolly K,. Prevalence of Sarcopenia and Associated Factors in Older Adults Attending a Day Hospital Service in Ireland [MSc Thesis] Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc): Research

Date of award

30/11/2020

Programme

  • Master of Science (MSc): Research

Research Area

  • Population Health and Health Services