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CO-OCCURRENCE OF SARCOPENIA AND FRAILTY IN ACUTELY ADMITTED OLDER MEDICAL PATIENTS: RESULTS FROM THE COPENHAGEN PROTECT STUDY

H. Nygaard, R.S. Kamper, A. Ekmann, S.K. Hansen, P. Hansen, M. Schultz, J. Rasmussen, E. Pressel, C. Suetta

BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia and frailty are often used interchangeably in clinical practice yet represent two distinct conditions and require different therapeutic approaches. The literature regarding the co-occurrence of both conditions in older patients is scarce as most studies have investigated the prevalence of sarcopenia and frailty separately. OBJECTIVES: We aim to evaluate the prevalence and co-occurrence of sarcopenia and frailty in a large sample of acutely admitted older medical patients. DESIGN: Secondary analyses using cross-sectional data from the Copenhagen PROTECT study. SETTING: Patients were included from the acute medical ward at Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark, between November 2019 and November 2021. PARTICIPANTS: Acutely admitted older medical patients (≥65 years). MEASUREMENTS: Handgrip strength (HGS) was investigated using a handheld dynamometer. Lean mass (SMI) was investigated using direct-segmental multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analyses (DSM-BIA). Low HGS, low SMI, and sarcopenia were defined according to the recent definitions from the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2). The Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) was used to evaluate frailty, with a value > 5 indicating the presence of frailty. Patients were enrolled and tested within 24 hours of admission. RESULTS: This study included 638 patients (mean age: 78.2+7.6, 55% female) with complete records of SMI, HGS, and the CFS. The prevalence of low HGS, low SMI, sarcopenia, and frailty were 39.0%, 33.1%, 19.7%, and 39.0%, respectively. Sarcopenia and frailty co-occurred in 12.1% of the patients. CONCLUSIONS: It is well-known that sarcopenia and frailty represent clinical manifestations of ageing and overlap in terms of the impairment in physical function observed in both conditions. Our results demonstrate that sarcopenia and frailty do not necessarily co-occur within the older acutely admitted patient, highlighting the need for separate assessments of frailty and sarcopenia to ensure the accurate characterization of the health status of older patients.

CITATION:
H. Nygaard ; R.S. Kamper ; A. Ekmann ; S.K. Hansen ; P. Hanse ; M. Schultz ; J. Rasmussen ; E. Pressel ; C. Suetta (2024): Co-Occurrence of Sarcopenia and Frailty in Acutely Admitted Older Medical Patients: Results from the Copenhagen PROTECT Study. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2024.23

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