Associations of Sarcopenia and Its Components with Bone Structure and Incident Falls in Swedish Older Adults

David Scott, Jonas Johansson, Lachlan B. McMillan, Peter R. Ebeling, Peter Nordstrom, Anna Nordstrom

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The aim of this study was to compare bone structure parameters and likelihood of falls across European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2) sarcopenia categories. 3334 Swedish 70-year olds had appendicular lean mass (normalized to height; ALMHt), lumbar spine and total hip areal BMD (aBMD) estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Volumetric BMD (vBMD) and structure at the distal and proximal tibia and radius were estimated by peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Hand grip strength and timed up-and-go were assessed, and sarcopenia was defined according to EWGSOP2 criteria. Incident falls were self-reported 6 and 12 months after baseline. Only 0.8% and 1.0% of participants had probable and confirmed sarcopenia, respectively. Almost one-third of participants with confirmed sarcopenia reported incident falls, compared with 20% for probable sarcopenia and 14% without sarcopenia (P = 0.025). Participants with confirmed sarcopenia had poorer bone parameters (all P < 0.05) except endosteal circumference at the proximal radius and tibia, while those with probable sarcopenia had lower cortical area at the proximal radius (B = − 5.9; 95% CI − 11.7, − 0.1 mm 2 ) and periosteal and endosteal circumferences at the proximal tibia (− 3.3; − 6.4, − 0.3 and − 3.8; − 7.5, − 0.1 mm 2 , respectively), compared with those without sarcopenia. Compared with probable sarcopenia, confirmed sarcopenic participants had significantly lower lumbar spine and total hip aBMD, distal radius and tibia total vBMD, and proximal radius and tibia cortical vBMD, area and thickness (all P < 0.05). Swedish 70-year olds with confirmed sarcopenia demonstrate poorer BMD and bone architecture than those with probable and no sarcopenia, and have increased likelihood of incident falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Bone
  • Falls
  • Muscle
  • Older adults
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sarcopenia

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