Muscle Loss Linked with Falls and Fractures in Older People

According to new research led by University of Southampton, senior citizens with an age-related reduction of muscle mass and strength may be at higher risk of falling and bone injuries.

A research by a global team of investigators into sarcopenia -where muscles lose form and function with age – identified that those with the condition reported greater numbers of falls in the previous year and a greater occurrence of fractures.

The decrease in muscular mass in between the ages of 40 and 80 has been approximated to range from 30 to 60% and is connected with disability, illness and death. However, there are no globally recognized criteria with which to detect patients with sarcopenia and determine those at danger. Three various systems have been recommended by various organisations, along with a wider term – ‘dysmobility syndrome’ – which involves several adverse aspects, which includes sarcopenia, combined with low walking speed and osteoporosis.

Lead author Dr Michael Clynes states that,

“All of these explanations acknowledge that measuring muscle mass in isolation is insufficient and a determine of muscle function is also needed, but there are variations in how function is evaluated. Due to these variations, a person may get various diagnosis based upon how he or she is evaluated. This is essential because the much better we can identify sarcopenia, the more understanding we have into the health problems and risks patients face.”

Investigators in the UK, USA and New Zealand evaluated a group aged in between 70 and 82 using the three sarcopenia definitions, combined with the dysmobility syndrome criteria, to see how the various diagnoses corresponded to the incident of falls and factures (during the earlier year and since the age of 45).

The research, presented in Calcified Tissue International, identified that the International Working Group on Sarcopenia (IWGS) definition recognized the most cases of the condition (8.3% of the cohort) and was connected with considerably higher numbers of falls in the previous year and prevalent fractures.

These associations weren’t apparent when making use of the European Working Group for Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) diagnosis or the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Sarcopenia Project (FNIH) diagnosis (which only recognized 2% as having the condition).

Dysmobilty syndrome was frequent (impacting 24.8%) and corresponded to greater numbers of falls, but no raise in the fracture rate.

Adding to above statment Dr Clynes said,

“The IWGS definition of sarcopenia seems to be to be an effective means of determining people at risk of adverse musculoskeletal events, like as falls and fracture. The discoveries allow us to more successfully predict those at greater risk of falls and fractures. By determining sarcopenia, health care specialists can target therapy to at-risk individuals.”