Sarcopenia Definition: The Position Statements of the Sarcopenia Definition and Outcomes Consortium

Shalender Bhasin*, Thomas G. Travison, Todd M. Manini, Sheena Patel, Karol M. Pencina, Roger A. Fielding, Jay M. Magaziner, Anne B. Newman, Douglas P. Kiel, Cyrus Cooper, Jack M. Guralnik, Jane A. Cauley, Hidenori Arai, Brian C. Clark, Francesco Landi, Laura A. Schaap, Suzette L. Pereira, Daniel Rooks, Jean Woo, Linda J. WoodhouseEllen Binder, Todd Brown, Michelle Shardell, Quian Li Xue, Ralph B. DʼAgostino, Denise Orwig, Greg Gorsicki, Rosaly Correa-De-Araujo, Peggy M. Cawthon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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OBJECTIVES: To develop an evidence-based definition of sarcopenia that can facilitate identification of older adults at risk for clinically relevant outcomes (eg, self-reported mobility limitation, falls, fractures, and mortality), the Sarcopenia Definition and Outcomes Consortium (SDOC) crafted a set of position statements informed by a literature review and SDOC's analyses of eight epidemiologic studies, six randomized clinical trials, four cohort studies of special populations, and two nationally representative population-based studies. METHODS: Thirteen position statements related to the putative components of a sarcopenia definition, informed by the SDOC analyses and literature synthesis, were reviewed by an independent international expert panel (panel) iteratively and voted on by the panel during the Sarcopenia Position Statement Conference. Four position statements related to grip strength, three to lean mass derived from dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and four to gait speed; two were summary statements. RESULTS: The SDOC analyses identified grip strength, either absolute or scaled to measures of body size, as an important discriminator of slowness. Both low grip strength and low usual gait speed independently predicted falls, self-reported mobility limitation, hip fractures, and mortality in community-dwelling older adults. Lean mass measured by DXA was not associated with incident adverse health-related outcomes in community-dwelling older adults with or without adjustment for body size. CONCLUSION: The panel agreed that both weakness defined by low grip strength and slowness defined by low usual gait speed should be included in the definition of sarcopenia. These position statements offer a rational basis for an evidence-based definition of sarcopenia. The analyses that informed these position statements are summarized in this article and discussed in accompanying articles in this issue of the journal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1410-1418
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
Early online date9 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute on AgingR13AG060712
U.S. Department of Agriculture


    • consensus definition of sarcopenia
    • grip strength cut points
    • lean mass cut points
    • mobility disability
    • sarcopenia


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