Body Composition and Falls Risk in Older Adults

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Purpose of Review: To explore evidence for associations between body composition and falls in older adults and interventions that may reduce falls through improving body composition. Recent Findings: Both sarcopenia (low skeletal muscle mass, strength and quality) and obesity appear to increase falls risk, but relationships with falls-related injury may differ. Nevertheless, perceptions of obesity as a protective factor for fractures have been challenged in recent years. Emerging research suggests that combined entities such as sarcopenic obesity also increase risk of falls, although effects of conditions such as osteosarcopenic obesity are yet to be determined. While lifestyle interventions targeting physical function reduce falls risk, it is unclear whether changes in body composition alone are beneficial. Summary: Obesity and sarcopenia are important risk factors for falls in older adults. Further research is required to clarify the effects of combined conditions on falls and to evaluate whether improved body composition directly prevents falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-222
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Geriatrics Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2019


  • Body composition
  • Falls
  • Fracture
  • Osteosarcopenic obesity
  • Sarcopenia
  • Sarcopenic obesity

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