Establishing the Link Between Lean Mass and Grip Strength Cut-points With Mobility Disability and Other Health Outcomes: Proceedings of the Sarcopenia Definition and Outcomes Consortium Conference

Sarcopenia Definition and Outcomes Consortium Conference participants

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BACKGROUND: Lack of consensus on how to diagnose sarcopenia has limited the ability to diagnose this condition and hindered drug development. The Sarcopenia Definitions and Outcomes Consortium (SDOC) was formed to develop evidence-based diagnostic cut-points for lean mass and/or muscle strength that identify people at increased risk of mobility disability. We describe here the proceedings of a meeting of SDOC and other experts to discuss strategic considerations in the development of evidence-based sarcopenia definition.

METHODS: Presentations and panel discussions reviewed the usefulness of sarcopenia as a biomarker, the analytical approach used by SDOC to establish cut-points, preliminary findings, and provided strategic direction to develop an evidence-based definition of sarcopenia.

RESULTS: The SDOC assembled data from 8 Epidemiologic Cohorts consisting of 18,831 participants; clinical populations from 10 randomized trials and observational studies; and 2 nationally representative cohorts. In preliminary assessments, grip strength or grip strength/body mass index (BMI) were identified as discriminators of risk for mobility disability (walking speed<0.8 m/sec), while DXA-derived lean mass measures were not good discriminators of mobility disability. Candidate definitions based on grip strength variables were associated with increased risk of mortality, falls, mobility disability and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) disability. The prevalence of low grip strength increased with age. The attendees recommended the establishment of an International Expert panel to review a series of position statements on sarcopenia definition that are informed by the findings of the SDOC analyses and synthesis of literature.

CONCLUSIONS: International consensus on an evidence-based definition of sarcopenia is needed. Grip strength - absolute or adjusted for BMI - is an important discriminator of mobility disability and other endpoints. Additional research is needed to develop a predictive risk model that takes into account sarcopenia components as well as age, sex, and race, and comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1323
Number of pages7
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A : Biological sciences and medical sciences
Issue number7
Early online date13 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


FundersFunder number
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Association of Schools of Public Health
NIAMS Multipurpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease Center5 P60 AR49465-03, 5-P60-AR30701
National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, Directorate of Long-Term Care
Swedish Research Council grant for the Gothenburg Region of Sweden
National Institutes of HealthU01 AG027810, U01 AG042140, U01 AG042139, U01 AR066160, U01 AG042124, U01 AG042168, U01 AG042145, UL1 TR000128, AR049439-01A1, CUHK 4101/02M, U01 AG042143
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
National Institute on AgingU24AG051129, 1UO1AG051421, N01AG62106, N01AG62101, N01AG62103
National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteN01-HC-85239, N01-HC-75150, N01 HC-15103, N01-HC-25195, N01-HC-85079, HL080295, HL087652, HL103612, HL105756, N01-HC-45133, N01-HC-85080, S1734, N01 HC-55222, HHSN268201200036C, N01-HC-85085, S043, N01-HC-85086, S3486, N01-HC-85083, N01-HC-35129, N01-HC-85084, N01-HC-85081, N01-HC-85082
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeAG-20098, AG-15928, AG-027058, AG-023629
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin DiseasesR01AR057118, R01 AR 41398
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Västra Götalandsregionen
Torsten Söderbergs Stiftelse
Petrus och Augusta Hedlunds Stiftelse
National Health and Medical Research Council301916
Stiftelsen för Strategisk Forskning
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek480-10-014
Lars Erik Lundbergs Stiftelse för Forskning och Utbildning
Chinese University of Hong Kong2041657
Göteborgs Läkaresällskap
Novo Nordisk FondenR01 AR35582, R01 AG005407, R01 AG027576, R01 AG005394, R01 AG027574, R01 AR35584, R01 AR35583


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