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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 450396, 8 pages
Research Article

The Significance of Body Mass Index in Calculating the Cut-Off Points for Low Muscle Mass in the Elderly: Methodological Issues

1Department of Palliative Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Osiedle Rusa 25a, 61-245 Poznan, Poland
2Department of Pathophysiology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 8 Rokietnicka Street, 60-806 Poznan, Poland
3Department of Adult Psychiatry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 27/33 Szpitalna Street, 60-572 Poznan, Poland
4Department of Bionics, University of Arts, Aleje Marcinkowskiego 29, 60-967 Poznan, Poland
5Department of Physiotherapy and Biological Renovation, Stanislaw Wojciechowski Higher Vocational State School, 4 Nowy Swiat Street, 62-800 Kalisz, Poland
6Department of Biomechanics, University School of Physical Education, 27/39 Krolowej Jadwigi Street, 61-871 Poznan, Poland

Received 30 June 2014; Revised 22 September 2014; Accepted 6 October 2014; Published 25 November 2014

Academic Editor: Germán Vicente-Rodriguez

Copyright © 2014 Roma Krzymińska-Siemaszko et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Cut-off points (COPs) for appendicular lean mass (ALM) index, essential to define low muscle mass (LMM) in the elderly, have never been officially defined for Poland. The aim of the study was to establish them. Additionally, the significance of body mass index (BMI) for correctly defining the COPs in a young, healthy reference group was assessed. Methods. The study was composed of reference group () and the elderly group (). In all subjects, body composition was assessed by bioimpedance analysis, and ALM index was calculated. Next, COPs (kg/m2) were set up for the whole reference group and for particular subgroups with different BMIs separately. They were used to diagnose sarcopenia in the elderly. Results. COP for all young females was 5.37 (COP-F), while it was equal to 5.52 (COP-F2) when only those with a recommended BMI (18.50–24.99 kg/m2) were taken into consideration. For males, it was 7.32 and 7.29, respectively. Only 7% of elderly females had LMM based on COP-F and 15% had LMM based on COP-F2 ; for males, the percentages were 18% and 16%, respectively. Conclusions. COPs for LMM for Poland are 5.52 kg/m2 (females) and 7.29 kg/m2 (males). The reference group BMI is an important factor in establishing COPs for low muscle mass.