Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 5–14 | Cite as

Sarcopenia and hospital-related outcomes in the old people: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Yunli Zhao
  • Yunxia Zhang
  • Qiukui Hao
  • Meiling Ge
  • Birong DongEmail author



This systematic review was conducted to explore the associations between sarcopenia, hospitalization and length of stay in the old people.


Pubmed, Embase, Medline and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trails from January 2009 to October 2017 were searched in this review. We included prospective studies, which had the clear definition of sarcopenia and reported the hospitalization or length of stay as one of outcomes. Adjusted Odd ratios (aORs), hazard ratios (aHRs) or relative risks (aRRs) extracted from the studies were combined to synthesize pooled effect measures. Heterogeneity, and methodological quality were assessed using I² statistic and Newcastle–Ottawa scale, respectively.


Nine studies were included in this review. Of these, 8 studies with 4174 individuals reported results for hospitalization, 3 studies involving 6276 old people in the community reported results for length of stay. Sarcopenia was significantly associated with future hospitalization (RR 1.40, 95% CI 1.04–1.89, p = 0.029; data from 8 studies). A subgroup analysis showed the associations between sarcopenia and readmission in hospitalized old patients that were statistically significant (RR 1.75, 95% CI 1.01–3.03, p = 0.044; data from 8 studies). However, this association were not found in the community-dwelling older subjects (RR 1.08, 95% CI 0.74–1.57, p = 0.688; data from 8 studies), uncertain in nursing home residents. The association of sarcopenia and length of stay was not statistically significant (OR 1.21, 95% CI 0.90–1.63, p = 0.20; data from 8 studies) in community-dwelling residents.


This systematic review demonstrates that sarcopenia is a significant predictor of readmission in old inpatients, but not associated with hospitalization or length of stay in community-dwelling old adults.


Aged Hospitalization Length of stay Sarcopenia. 


Author contributions

YL formulated the research question, designed the study and screened the articles, collected the data, and drafted the manuscript. YX designed the study and screened the articles. QK collected the data. ML analyzed the data.BD assisted with formulating the research question and supervising the quality of the paper.


The authors declare that they have received no funding for the study

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Ethical approval

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

This type of study is based on aggregated data of already published studies. Informed consent can not be obtained from patients.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 35 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (TIF 4672 KB)
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Supplementary material 3 (TIF 4671 KB)
40520_2018_931_MOESM4_ESM.doc (55 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOC 55 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunli Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yunxia Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qiukui Hao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Meiling Ge
    • 1
    • 2
  • Birong Dong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Center of Gerontology and Geriatrics, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.National Clinical Research Center for GeriatricsChengduChina
  3. 3.The Center of Coordination and Innovation for Aging Care and Health Promotion of SichuanChengdu Medical SchoolChengduChina

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