The term "sarcopenia" is most often used to describe age-related loss in muscle mass and strength, and it is commonly considered analogous to osteoporosis. Yet unlike osteoporosis, which can be diagnosed based on widely accepted clinical criteria, sarcopenia is not recognized as a clinical condition even though it can impair physical function and contribute to disability, falls, and hospitalizations.
A new review addresses this concern and points to efforts aimed at developing and refining sarcopenia criteria.
"For over 20 years, the lack of a consensus definition for sarcopenia has been a significant barrier for the development of interventions aimed at preserving or improving muscle mass and strength in older adults," said Dr. Robert McLean, lead author of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research review. "The recent and ongoing efforts of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Sarcopenia Project are a major advancement toward closing this important gap."