Falls, fractures, and areal bone mineral density in older adults with sarcopenic obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Anoohya Gandham, Jakub Mesinovic, Paul Jansons, Ayse Zengin, Maxine P. Bonham, Peter R. Ebeling, David Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Sarcopenia and obesity are common conditions in older adults that may have differing effects on falls and fracture risk. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine whether older adults with sarcopenic obesity have increased risk of falls and fractures or lower bone mass compared with older adults with sarcopenia, obesity, or neither condition. Twenty-six studies (n = 37,124) were included in the systematic review and 17 (n = 31,540) were included in the meta-analysis. Older adults with sarcopenic obesity had lower femoral neck areal bone mineral density (aBMD) compared with those with obesity alone but had higher femoral neck aBMD compared with counterparts with sarcopenia alone (both P < 0.05). Older adults with sarcopenic obesity had higher nonvertebral fracture rates (incidence rate ratio: 1.88; 95% confidence intervals: 1.09, 3.23; based on two studies), compared with those with sarcopenia alone, and also had higher falls risk compared with controls (risk ratio: 1.30; 95% confidence intervals: 1.10, 1.54) and obesity alone (risk ratio: 1.17; 95% confidence intervals: 1.01, 1.36). In conclusion, this systematic review and meta-analysis has demonstrated that older adults with sarcopenic obesity are at increased risk of adverse musculoskeletal outcomes compared with individuals with obesity, sarcopenia, or neither condition. These data support the need for developing interventions to improve bone health and physical function in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13187
Number of pages13
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • falls
  • fracture
  • obesity
  • sarcopenia

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