Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 31, Issue 7, pp 951–959 | Cite as

Prevalence of sarcopenia and 9-year mortality in nursing home residents

  • Stany PerkisasEmail author
  • Anne-Marie De Cock
  • Maurits Vandewoude
  • Veronique Verhoeven
Original Article



Sarcopenia is a progressive loss of muscle mass, strength, and function. It is linked to functional decline, and secondary to this, to nursing home admission.


To look into the prevalence of sarcopenia in a nursing home population and to gain insight into the relation of sarcopenia with mortality in this cohort.


A longitudinal cohort follow-up started in October 2007 in 52 nursing homes in Belgium. Following data were procured: anthropometrics (weight/length), body composition (muscle mass through bio-impedance absorptiometry, BIA), functional status (Katz), nutritional status (mini-nutritional assessment-short form, MNA), and a number of laboratory parameters.


In total, 745 residents were included. Mean age was 84.6 ± 7.2 years. Mean follow-up time was 1632 ± 1026 days. In total, 17% had severe sarcopenia, 45% had moderate sarcopenia, and 38% had no sarcopenia. Following items were significant (p < 0.05) on univariate analysis with mortality as outcome: sarcopenia, gender, BMI, skeletal muscle mass, age, MNA, and functional level. In multivariate analysis, only MNA, skeletal muscle mass, and age were still significant. Odds ratio for skeletal muscle mass was 1.171 for the highest percentile group, 2.277 for the middle percentile group, and 4.842 for the lowest percentile group.


The prevalence of sarcopenia was higher than in comparative literature, for which there are a few hypotheses. Cut-off values for sarcopenia using BIA for specific cohorts need to be re-evaluated.


It seems to remain useful to screen for muscle mass in institutionalized elderly, because there is a clear and significant correlation with long-term mortality.


Sarcopenia Mortality Institutionalized older people Nutrition 



No funds were received for this study. The authors would like to thank the administrative departments of the different districts of Antwerp in aiding in the collection of data.

Author contributions

SP and VV conceived and designed the study; SP and VV collected and analysed the data; SP wrote the paper; MV, AMDC, and VV revised the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval for this study has been granted by the University of Antwerp’s Medical Research ethics committee, for both parts of the study.

Informed consent

All included patients gave informed consent, which was noted down in the patient files.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Centre for Geriatrics, ZNA (Ziekenhuis Netwerk Antwerpen)AntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.ELIZA, First Line & Interdisciplinary Care MedicineUniversity of AntwerpEdegemBelgium
  3. 3.Belgian Ageing Muscle SocietyLiegeBelgium

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