Common Ground? The Concordance of Sarcopenia and Frailty Definitions.

This study aimed to explore the concordance between definitions of sarcopenia and frailty in a clinically relevant population of geriatric outpatients. Data were retrieved from a cross-sectional study and was performed in a geriatric outpatient clinic of a middle-sized teaching hospital. The study included 299 geriatric outpatients (mean age 82.4, SD 7.1) who were consecutively referred to the outpatient clinic. Prevalence rates and subsequent concordance evolving from 3 definitions of sarcopenia and 2 definitions of frailty were compared. Definitions of sarcopenia included the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (gait speed, handgrip strength, muscle mass), International Working Group on Sarcopenia (gait speed, muscle mass) and the definition by Janssen (muscle mass). Definitions of frailty included the Fried frailty phenotype (weight loss, exhaustion, physical inactivity, handgrip strength, walk time) and the definition of Rockwood (use of walking aid, activities of daily living, incontinence, and cognitive impairment). Prevalence rates for sarcopenia varied between 17% and 22% and between 29% and 33% for frailty. There was little concordance in intraindividual prevalence rates of sarcopenia and frailty using different definitions. None of the outpatients was classified as having sarcopenia and frailty according to all applied definitions. Outpatients with sarcopenia were more likely to be frail than frail outpatients to be sarcopenic.

This study clearly indicates that sarcopenia and frailty are 2 separate conditions based on the current definitions. It is important to diagnose sarcopenia and frailty as separate entities, as each may require specific treatment.