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Sarcopenic obesity and associations with mortality in older women and men - a prospective observational study.

Journal article
Authors Å von Berens
S R Obling
M Nydahl
A Koochek
Lauren Lissner
Ingmar Skoog
Kerstin Frändin
E Skoglund
E Rothenberg
T Cederholm
Published in BMC geriatrics
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 199
ISSN 1471-2318
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 199
Language en
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


The combined effect of sarcopenia and obesity, i.e., sarcopenic obesity, has been associated with disability and worse outcomes in older adults, but results are conflicting. The objectives of this study were to describe the prevalence of sarcopenic obesity (SO) in older adults, and to examine how the risk of mortality is associated with SO and its various components.Data were obtained from two Swedish population studies, the Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Studies of 521 women and men at the age of 75, and the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM), which included 288 men aged 87 years. Sarcopenia was defined using the recently updated EWGSOP2 definition. Obesity was defined by any of three established definitions: body mass index ≥30 kg/m2, fat mass > 30%/ > 42% or waist circumference ≥ 88 cm/≥102 cm for women and men, respectively. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve and the Cox proportional hazard model were used for 10-year and 4-year survival analyses in the H70 and ULSAM cohorts, respectively.SO was observed in 4% of the women and 11% of the men in the H70 cohort, and in 10% of the ULSAM male cohort. The 75-year-old women with SO had a higher risk (HR 3.25, 95% confidence interval (1.2-8.9)) of dying within 10 years compared to those with a "normal" phenotype. A potential similar association with mortality among the 75-year-old men was not statistically significant. In the older men aged 87 years, obesity was associated with increased survival.SO was observed in 4-11% of community-dwelling older adults. In 75-year-old women SO appeared to associate with an increased risk of dying within 10 years. In 87-year-old men, the results indicated that obesity without sarcopenia was related to a survival benefit over a four-year period.

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