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The epidemiology of sarcopenia in community living older adults : what role does lifestyle play?
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by David ScottDavid Scott, L Blizzard, J Fell, G Jones
Background: Sarcopenia, the age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass and function, is a relatively poorly understood process which may play an important role in the incidence of physical disability and falls in older adults. Evidence demonstrates that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to increased susceptibility for sarcopenia development, yet some of these factors may represent unavoidable consequences of ageing. Methods: A review of literature, generally from epidemiological research, was performed to examine the influence that potentially modifiable lifestyle factors (general physical activity, dietary nutrient intake and sun exposure), as well as chronic disease and medication use, may have on sarcopenia progression. Results: The review demonstrated that while physical activity, nutrient intake and sun exposure often decline during ageing, each may have important but differing benefits for the prevention of muscle mass and functional declines in older adults. Conversely, age-related increases in the prevalence of chronic diseases and the subsequent prescription of pharmacotherapy may exacerbate sarcopenia progression. Conclusions: The prevalence of poor physical activity, diet and sun exposure, as well as chronic disease and medication use, within older adult populations may be modifiable through simple lifestyle and health care interventions. As such, these factors may represent the most effective targets for sarcopenia prevention during the ageing process.