Economic Impact of Hospitalizations in US Adults with Sarcopenia

  • S. Goates
  • K. Du
  • M. B. Arensberg
  • T. Gaillard
  • J. Guralnik
  • Suzette L. PereiraEmail author
Original Research


Background: Sarcopenia is characterized by progressive loss of muscle mass with corresponding decline in strength and/or physical function. The economic burden of sarcopenia-associated disability is considerable in the US. Objective: To estimate the cost of hospitalizations in US adults with sarcopenia categorized by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Design, setting and participants: A retrospective, prevalence based, economic burden study, consisting of 4011 adults aged ≥40 years with and without sarcopenia. Methods: Data on prevalence of low lean mass, functional limitations, and hospitalizations were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999–2004); cost of hospitalizations was obtained from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project — National Inpatient Sample (2014), and population estimates were obtained from the US Census (2014). Probability and cost of hospitalizations were estimated by multiple logistic regression and negative binomial regression models, respectively. Results: The total estimated cost of hospitalizations in individuals with sarcopenia was USD $40.4 billion with an average per person cost of USD $260. Within this category, average per person cost was highest for Hispanic women (USD $548) and lowest for Non-Hispanic Black women (USD $25); average per person cost was higher for older adults (≥65 years) (USD $375) than younger adults (40–64 years) (USD $204) with sarcopenia. The total cost of hospitalizations in individuals with sarcopenia (≥65 years) was USD $19.12 billion. Individuals with sarcopenia had greater odds of hospitalization (OR, 1.95; p<.001) compared to those without and had an annual marginal increase in cost of USD $2315.7 per person compared to individuals without sarcopenia. Conclusion: Sarcopenia places considerable economic burden on the US healthcare system. The ethnic disparity and economic burden associated with sarcopenia warrant further investigation.


Cost hospitalization economic burden race sarcopenia 

Supplementary material

42415_2019_10_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary Table S1. Prevalence of sarcopenia by age, race, and sex
42415_2019_10_MOESM2_ESM.docx (238 kb)
Supplementary Figure S1. A schema of study design


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Goates
    • 1
  • K. Du
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. B. Arensberg
    • 1
  • T. Gaillard
    • 3
  • J. Guralnik
    • 4
  • Suzette L. Pereira
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Abbott-Nutrition Division, Research and DevelopmentColumbusUSA
  2. 2.University of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  4. 4.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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