Introduction Sarcopenia poses a significant problem for older adults, yet very little is known about this medical condition in the hospital setting. The aims of this hospital-based study were to determine: (i) the prevalence of sarcopenia; (ii) factors associated with sarcopenia; and (iii) the association of sarcopenia with adverse clinical outcomes post-hospitalisation. Methods This is a longitudinal analysis of consecutive patients aged ≥70 years admitted to a Geriatric Management and Evaluation Unit (GEMU) ward. Sarcopenia was classified using the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) algorithm, which included: handgrip strength, gait speed, and muscle mass using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Outcomes were assessed at 12-months post-hospital discharge, and included both mortality and admission to a hospital Emergency Department (ED). Kaplan-Meier methods were used to estimate survival, with Cox proportion hazard models then applied. All regression analyses controlled for age, sex, and co-morbidity. Results 172 patients (72% female) with a mean (SD) age of 85.2 (6.4) years were included. Sarcopenia was present in 69 (40.1%) of patients. Patients with sarcopenia were twice as likely to die in the 12-months post-hospitalisation (HR, 95% CI = 2.23, 1.15–4.34), but did not have an increased likelihood of ED admission. Conclusions Sarcopenia showed an independent association with 12-month post-hospital mortality in older adults. With the new recognition of sarcopenia as a medical condition with its own unique ICD-10-CM code, awareness and diagnosis of sarcopenia in clinical settings is paramount.
- Muscle mass
- Muscle strength