Chronology of age-related disease definitions: Osteoporosis and sarcopenia

A. Y. Bijlsma, C. G.M. Meskers, R. G.J. Westendorp, A. B. Maier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Low muscle mass at older age has been associated with functional impairments, cognitive decline and mortality. The term sarcopenia, coined in 1988, has been used interchangeably to describe low muscle mass, strength, and function. Without a well defined definition, results of studies using the term sarcopenia cannot be compared. Difficulties in defining sarcopenia parallel the history of defining osteoporosis. To understand critical steps that are needed to reach consensus in defining age-related diseases, we have identified milestones in the history of defining osteoporosis and compared these to sarcopenia. As a result, the main missing steps in the process of defining sarcopenia are: specific treatment options, pharmaceutical interest, and public awareness. Similar to osteoporosis being defined as 'low bone mineral density', the term sarcopenia should be reserved for 'low muscle mass'. Consensus must be reached regarding the diagnostic criteria to quantify muscle mass, correction factors, and reference populations used to define cut-off values of muscle mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-324
Number of pages5
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

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