posted on 2023-08-30, 18:32authored byLee Smith, Louis Jacob, Yvonne A. Barnett, Laurie T. Butler, Jae Il Shin, Guillermo F. López-Sánchez, Pinar Soysal, Nicola Veronese, Josep Haro, Ai Koyanagi
Limited literature has investigated the association between food insecurity and sarcopenia in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between food insecurity and sarcopenia among adults aged ≥65 years in six LMICs. Community-based cross-sectional data of the Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health were analyzed. Sarcopenia was defined as the presence of low skeletal muscle mass based on indirect population formula, and either slow gait or low handgrip strength. In the past, 12-month food insecurity was assessed with two questions on frequency of eating less and hunger due to lack of food. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted. The final sample consisted of 14,585 individuals aged ≥65 years (mean (SD) age 72.6 (11.5) years; 55.0% females). The prevalence of sarcopenia among those with no food insecurity was 13.0% but this increased to 24.4% among those with severe food insecurity. After adjustment for potential confounders, compared to no food insecurity, severe food insecurity was associated with 2.05 (95%CI = 1.12–3.73) times higher odds for sarcopenia. In this large representative sample of older adults from multiple LMICs, it was found that severe food insecurity is associated with higher odds for sarcopenia. Addressing food insecurity in such settings may be an effective strategy to curb the high prevalence of sarcopenia in LMICs.