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Gender-specific risk factors for incident sarcopenia: 8 years follow up of the English Longitudinal Study of Aging

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posted on 2023-08-30, 15:42 authored by Lin Yang, Lee Smith, Mark Hamer
Background: The aetiology of age-related sarcopenia is not known. Objectives: To investigate if risk of developing sarcopenia differs by gender; and to identify gender-specific risk factors of incident sarcopenia, in a large population-based cohort of older English adults. Methods: The sample (n=3,404; age 63.4 (SD 7.7) yrs; 54.1% female) comprised older community dwelling adults recruited from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Sarcopenia was defined as hand grip <26kg in men, <16kg in women. Handgrip strength was assessed at baseline (2004/5) and repeated at follow up (2012/13). Analysed risk factors included baseline anthropometric measures, smoking, vigorous and moderate physical activity, depressive symptoms, chronic illnesses, and wealth. After excluding participants with sarcopenia at baseline, multivariate logistic regressions were used to explore baseline risk factors for incident sarcopenia. Results: During 8 years follow up, 208 and 287 cases of sarcopenia were identified in men (n=1564) and women (n=1840), respectively. Women were at 20% (age adjusted OR=1.20, 95% CI, 0.98, 1.47) higher risk of developing sarcopenia than men. The inverse association between physical activity and sarcopenia risk was observed at moderate (OR=0.44, 95% CI, 0.27, 0.67) and vigorous (0.53, 95% CI, 0.31, 0.82) intensities in men and only vigorous (OR=0.44, 95% CI, 0.28, 0.68) intensity in women. Social factors, such as wealth, and chronic health conditions appeared to be more strongly associated with sarcopenia in men. Conclusion: Women are at higher risk of developing incident sarcopenia than men and this is likely explained by a range of gender-specific risk factors.



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Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health





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Faculty of Science & Engineering

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