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The Prevalence of Sarcopenia in Chinese Older Adults: Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression

Nutrients. 13(5):1441. 2021
Chen Z., Li W.Y., Ho M., Chau P.H.*


Sarcopenia, with risk factors such as poor nutrition and physical inactivity, is becoming prevalent among the older population. The aims of this study were (i) to systematically review the existing data on sarcopenia prevalence in the older Chinese population, (ii) to generate pooled estimates of the sex-specific prevalence among different populations, and (iii) to identify the factors associated with the heterogeneity in the estimates across studies. A search was conducted in seven databases for studies that reported the prevalence of sarcopenia in Chinese older adults, aged 60 years and over, published through April 2020. We then performed a meta-analysis to estimate the pooled prevalence, and investigated the factors associated with the variation in the prevalence across the studies using meta-regression. A total of 58 studies were included in this review. Compared with community-dwelling Chinese older adults (men: 12.9%, 95% CI: 10.7–15.1%; women: 11.2%, 95% CI: 8.9–13.4%), the pooled prevalence of sarcopenia in older adults from hospitals (men: 29.7%, 95% CI:18.4–41.1%; women: 23.0%, 95% CI:17.1–28.8%) and nursing homes (men: 26.3%, 95% CI: 19.1 to 33.4%; women: 33.7%, 95% CI: 27.2 to 40.1%) was higher. The multivariable meta-regression quantified the difference of the prevalence estimates in different populations, muscle mass assessments, and areas. This study yielded pooled estimates of sarcopenia prevalence in Chinese older adults not only from communities, but also from clinical settings and nursing homes. This study added knowledge to the current epidemiology literature about sarcopenia in older Chinese populations, and could provide background information for future preventive strategies, such as nutrition and physical activity interventions, tailored to the growing older population

Keywords: sarcopenia; prevalence; nutrition; physical activity; meta-analysis; meta-regression

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(*Corresponding Author)