BACKGROUND & AIMS: Malnutrition and sarcopenia coexist in older adults, yet they remain largely undiagnosed and untreated, despite available interventions. This study aimed to assess the prevalence, the coexistence of, and the association between malnutrition and sarcopenia in geriatric rehabilitation inpatients.
METHODS: REStORing health of acutely unwell adulTs (RESORT) is an observational, longitudinal cohort of geriatric rehabilitation inpatients. The association between malnutrition, diagnosed according to the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria and sarcopenia according to the revised definition of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) (no sarcopenia, probable sarcopenia, confirmed sarcopenia and severe sarcopenia) was determined using multinomial logistic regression analyses, adjusted for age, sex, comorbidities and cognitive impairment.
RESULTS: Out of 506 geriatric rehabilitation inpatients, 51% were malnourished, 49% had probable sarcopenia, 0.4% had confirmed sarcopenia (non-severe) and 19% had severe sarcopenia. Malnutrition and probable sarcopenia and malnutrition and confirmed/severe sarcopenia coexisted in 23% and 13% of the 506 patients respectively. Malnutrition was not associated with probable sarcopenia (OR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.58-1.42, p = 0.674) but with severe sarcopenia (OR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.13-3.81, p = 0.019).
CONCLUSION: The prevalence, coexistence of, and the association between malnutrition and severe sarcopenia in geriatric rehabilitation inpatients warrant diagnosis at admission. Further research into feasible and effective interventions to counteract both conditions to improve geriatric rehabilitation outcomes is needed.