Sarcopenia and fall-related injury among older adults in five low- and middle-income countries

Mario Barbagallo, Nicola Veronese, Lee Smith, Ai Koyanagi, Josep Maria Haro, Lin Yang, Liye Zou

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Sarcopenia is a common condition in older people and increasing evidence suggests that it can be considered as a potential risk factor for falls and fractures. However, no studies on this topic from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are available. Thus, we assessed this association among older adults from five LMICs (China, India, Ghana, Mexico, and Russia). Community-based, nationally representative, cross-sectional data of the Study on Global Aging and Adult Health were analyzed. Sarcopenia was defined as the presence of low skeletal muscle mass based on indirect population formula, and either slow gait or low handgrip strength. The presence of fall-related injury was ascertained through self-reported information. Multivariable logistic regression analysis and meta-analysis were conducted. The sample consisted of 13,101 individuals aged ≥65 years (mean (SD) age 72.6 (11.3) years; 45% males). The prevalence of fall-related injury was higher among those with sarcopenia than in those without this condition (e.g., Mexico 9.8% vs. 2.7%). Adjusted analyses showed that sarcopenia was associated with a 1.85 (95%CI = 1.24–2.77) times higher odds for fall-related injury, with a low level of between-country heterogeneity. Future studies of longitudinal design may shed light on whether sarcopenia in LMICs may be considered as a risk factor for falls.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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