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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 231312, 11 pages
Review Article

Methods, Diagnostic Criteria, Cutoff Points, and Prevalence of Sarcopenia among Older People

1Nursing School, Federal University of Goiás, 227 Street, Block 68, s/n, Setor Leste Universitário, 74605-080 Goiânia, GO, Brazil
2School of Medicine, Federal University of Goiás, Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, 235 Street s/n, Setor Leste Universitário, 74605-020 Goiânia, GO, Brazil

Received 10 September 2014; Accepted 11 November 2014; Published 17 December 2014

Academic Editor: Cristiano Capurso

Copyright © 2014 Valéria Pagotto and Erika Aparecida Silveira. 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.


Aim. To identify methods, index, diagnostic criteria, and corresponding cutoff points used to estimate the prevalence of sarcopenia in older people in different countries. Methods. A systematic review was carried out in accordance with PRISMA Statement. The search encompassed the MEDLINE and LILACS databases and was executed during March 2012 using the keyword sarcopenia. Results. A total of 671 studies were identified by the search strategy, and 30 meet all inclusion criteria. Specifically for dual-X-ray absorptiometry, prevalence ranged from 2.2% to 95% in men and from 0.1% to 33.9% in women. For bioelectrical impedance analysis, the range was from 6.2% to 85.4% in men and 2.8% to 23.6% in women. Regarding anthropometric and computed tomography, prevalence rates were, respectively, 14.1% and 55.9%. Conclusions. Heterogeneity in prevalence of sarcopenia was identified, due to diagnostic method choice, cutoff points, and, characteristics of the population as well as reference population. These factors should be considered in research designs to enable comparison and validation of results. Despite the limitations of most studies that indicated high prevalence rates, the results indicate the need for early detection of this syndrome.