The SARC-F Score on Admission Predicts Falls during Hospitalization in Older Adults



Community-dwelling older adults with sarcopenia are likely to fall. However, few studies have investigated whether sarcopenia is associated with falls during hospitalization in older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the SARC-F when used as a simple screening tool for sarcopenia at the time of admission, predicts in-hospital falls.


A retrospective, observational study.


A 900-bed university hospital.


A total of 9,927 patients aged 65 years and older were hospitalized at the hospital between April 2019 and March 2020.


The SARC-F contains five items: strength, assistance in walking, rise from a chair, climb stairs, and falls were evaluated at hospital admission. To investigate the relationship between the SARC-F score and falls, a ROC curve analysis was performed. Multivariate analysis adjusted for fall-related confounding factors such as age, gender, ADL, and disease were performed.


Mean age: 75.9±6.7 years; male: 56.2% were analyzed, and 159 patients (1.6%) fell during hospitalization. SARC-F scores at admission were significantly higher in the fall group than in the control group (3 [1–6] points vs. 0 [¬0–2] point, p<0.001). Statistical association was observed between the SARC-F and in-hospital fall (area under the curve = 0.721 [0.678–0.764], p < 0.001). The cut-off value for the highest sensitivity and specificity of the SARC-F score for in-hospital falls was two (sensitivity = 0.679, specificity = 0.715). Among the subitem of the SARC-F, the hazard ratios for climbing stairs were significantly higher (HR = 1.52 [1.10–2.09], p = 0.011) and for a history of fall was significantly higher (HR = 1.41 [1.02–1.95], p = 0.036). A SARC-F score ≥ 2 had a significantly higher incidence of in-hospital falls compared to a SARC-F score <2 (3.7% vs. 0.7%, p < 0.001). Also, a SARC-F score ≥ 2 had a significantly higher hazard ratio for falls (2.11 [1.37–3.26], p < 0.001).


SARC-F can help predict falls among hospitalized older adults.

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This work was funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (grant number: JP20H01144 to Ishida Y and 18K11142 to Maeda K).

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Correspondence to Keisuke Maeda.

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Ethical standards: This work was performed according to the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and later amendments.

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Ishida, Y., Maeda, K., Ueshima, J. et al. The SARC-F Score on Admission Predicts Falls during Hospitalization in Older Adults. J Nutr Health Aging 25, 399–404 (2021).

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Key words

  • SARC-F
  • sarcopenia
  • fall
  • in-hospital
  • older adults