Sarcopenia and malnutrition are both commonly occurring conditions in elderly population. As understood today, sarcopenia is a syndrome characterised by progressive and generalised loss of skeletal muscle mass, physical performance and/or strength, whereas malnutrition has been defined as a condition of an imbalance of energy, protein and other nutrients that can cause measurable negative effects. In many populations, malnutrition and sarcopenia are present simultaneously, and they appear clinically through a combination of decreased body weight and nutrient intake, along with a decrease in muscle mass and function. Moreover, malnutrition is one of the key pathophysiological causes of sarcopenia. Both entities result in numerous and substantial negative outcomes to the patients and the healthcare system, including decreased quality of life and functionality and increased healthcare costs, hospitalisation rates, morbidity and mortality. Early identification of sarcopenia would be of great clinical relevance because the loss of muscle mass and strength with ageing can be largely reversed by proper exercise and nutritional intervention. Clinicians should integrate nutritional assessment with sarcopenia screening for optimal evaluation of these two interrelated issues to help improve clinical outcomes.
Part of the book: Frailty and Sarcopenia