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European Geriatric Medicine
Volume 7, n° 3
pages 214-219 (juin 2016)
Doi : 10.1016/j.eurger.2015.11.009
Received : 15 September 2015 ;  accepted : 12 November 2015
Sarcopenic obesity

D. Scott a, b, , 1 , V. Hirani c, d, e, 1
a Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria 3146, Australia 
b Medical School (Western Campus) and Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science, The University of Melbourne and Western Health, Sunshine Hospital, 176 Furlong Road, St Albans, Victoria 3021, Australia 
c School of Public Health, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 
d The ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 
e The Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, Concord Hospital, University of Sydney, Hospital Road, Concord Hospital, New South Wales, Sydney 2139, Australia 

Corresponding author. Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Monash Medical Centre, 246, Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria 3146, Australia. Tel.: + 61 3 8572 2574 Fax: + 61 3 9594 6437

“Sarcopenic obesity” describes the confluence of low muscle mass and/or strength with obesity in older adults, thought to contribute to increased risk for poor health outcomes compared to either condition alone. Despite almost 20 years of research into sarcopenic obesity, it currently lacks a consensus definition and this is a barrier to research and clinical investigations. This narrative review summarises current evidence of the role of sarcopenic obesity in age-related declines in musculoskeletal and cardiometabolic health, and potential treatment strategies. Research to date suggests that sarcopenic obesity, when defined by low muscle strength, contributes to significantly increased risk for poor physical function and possibly falls. It is likely that sarcopenic obese individuals have reduced bone quality relative to obese alone, and combined with an increased falls risk, may be predisposed to increased risk for fractures. Low muscle mass in obesity may also be associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and mortality, however prospective studies are required to confirm the effects of sarcopenic obesity on musculoskeletal and cardiometabolic health in older adult populations. Similarly, large-scale randomised controlled trials are needed to clarify the most effective methods for reducing prevalence and incidence of sarcopenic obesity, but it is likely that lifestyle modification interventions which combine aerobic and resistance training, caloric restriction, and protein and/or vitamin D supplementation, may be most effective.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Sarcopenia, Obesity, Falls, Fractures, Cardiometabolic health

1  Both authors contributed equally to the manuscript.

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