Purpose of review
To summarize the latest advances and caveats in defining sarcopenia
and discuss the implications of the most recent worldwide initiatives which are trying to harmonize the definition.
The evolution over time of the definitions of sarcopenia
is discussed, with a focus on the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2
(EWGSOP2) definition and the Sarcopenia
Definitions and Outcomes Consortium (SDOC) conference. The EWGSOP2 and the SDOC agree on the overall concept of sarcopenia
, which involves both impaired function (low muscle strength) and structural damage (low muscle mass
/quality). However, physical performance is considered as a diagnostic criterion (EWGSOP), a severity grading assessment (EWGSOP2) or an outcome (SDOC) pending on the definition used. Muscle strength has been recognized as the best predictor of health outcomes. Muscle mass
alone, as part of the definition of cachexia, sarcopenia
and malnutrition, is a nondefining parameter. Furthermore, there is a lack of precision in measurement techniques and variability of the cut-off points in defining it.
We discuss the relationship of sarcopenia
with cachexia, malnutrition and frailty, and the areas that are hampering agreement. We summarize key scientific evidence, consider future study of this nutrition-related disease and raise concern about the need for a universal definition of sarcopenia