, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 417-426
Date: 18 May 2013

Prevalence of site-specific thigh sarcopenia in Japanese men and women

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The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of severe sarcopenia detected by total skeletal muscle mass (SM) index and of site-specific thigh sarcopenia for differing age groups in men and women. Japanese nonobese men and women aged 20 to 85 (n = 1,994, 55 % women) had muscle thickness (MTH) measured by ultrasound at six sites on the anterior and posterior aspects of the body. SM was estimated from ultrasound-derived prediction equations. Site-specific thigh sarcopenia was calculated using ultrasound-measured MTH at the anterior and posterior aspects of the thigh (MTH ratio, anterior 50 %/posterior 50 % thigh MTH (A50/P50 MTH)). Sarcopenia was defined as a SM index (SM divided by height2) of >2 standard deviations (SD) below the mean for young adults. Site-specific thigh sarcopenia was defined as a ratio of A50/P50 MTH of >2 SD below the mean for young adults. Age was inversely correlated to SM index and A50/P50 MTH in men (r = −0.480 and r = −0.522) and women (r = −0.243 and r = −0.516). The prevalence rate of sarcopenia was less than 3 % for women under the age of 60, 7 % for ages 60–69, and 24 % for ages 70–80. In men, the prevalence rate of sarcopenia was less than 7 % under the age of 50, 18 % for ages 50–59, 33 % for ages 60–69, and 47 % for ages 70–85. Compared to the sarcopenia estimated by SM index, there was a higher prevalence of site-specific thigh sarcopenia observed in both sexes. These results suggest that site-specific thigh sarcopenia appears before it is able to be detected at the whole body level.