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13 June 2019 : Clinical Research  

Nutrition, Physical Exercise, and the Prevalence of Sarcopenia in Elderly Residents in Nursing Homes in China

Li-Jun Yang1BCDEF, Guan-Hui Wu2CDEF, Yun-Long Yang1BCDE, Yong-Hua Wu1ADEF*, Li Zhang1ABCDE, Min-Hong Wang1ADE, Li-Ya Mo1BCDEF, Gang Xue1BCD, Chuan-Zhi Wang1BCD, Xiao-Fen Weng1BCDEF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.914031

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:4390-4399


BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate the factors associated with sarcopenia in elderly residents in three nursing homes in Suzhou City, East China including the association with nutrition and physical exercise.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Elderly residents (n=316) from three nursing homes included 112 men and 204 women. The appendicular skeletal muscle index (ASMI), grip strength, and movements were measured to diagnose sarcopenia. The correlation between sarcopenia with age, sex, body mass index (BMI), ASMI, upper arm circumference, calf circumference, muscle content, grip strength, dietary intake, degree and duration of movement were also assessed.

RESULTS: The prevalence of sarcopenia was 28.8% (30.4% for men and 27.9% for women). Patients with sarcopenia were older compared with controls. Height, BMI, upper arm circumference, calf circumference and arm muscle mass, lower limb muscle mass, limb skeletal muscle index and ASMI, grip strength, and pace of movement were lower than controls. The prevalence of sarcopenia correlated with the intake of meat, fish, eggs, and milk, and duration of weekly aerobic and resistance exercise. Logistic regression analysis showed a positive correlation between the prevalence of sarcopenia and age, and a negative correlation between BMI and consumption of meat, eggs, and milk.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of sarcopenia in elderly residents in three nursing homes in Suzhou City was 28.8%. Increasing age was a risk factor for sarcopenia. Increased BMI and a diet containing meat, eggs, and milk were protective factors. The findings from this study provide support that adequate dietary protein can prevent sarcopenia in the elderly.

Keywords: Exercise, Nutrition Assessment, Risk Factors, sarcopenia, secondary prevention, Body Mass Index, Case-Control Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Elder Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Geriatric Assessment, Muscle, Skeletal, Nursing Homes, Prevalence

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750