Sarcopenia: A Time for Action. An SCWD Position Paper

Juergen Bauer, John E. Morley, Annemie M.W.J. Schols, Luigi Ferrucci, Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft, Elsa Dent, Vickie E. Baracos, Jeffrey A. Crawford, Wolfram Doehner, Steven B. Heymsfield, Aminah Jatoi, Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, Mitja Lainscak, Francesco Landi, Alessandro Laviano, Michelangelo Mancuso, Maurizio Muscaritoli, Carla M. Prado, Florian Strasser, Stephan von HaehlingAndrew J.S. Coats, Stefan D. Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The term sarcopenia was introduced in 1988. The original definition was a “muscle loss” of the appendicular muscle mass in the older people as measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). In 2010, the definition was altered to be low muscle mass together with low muscle function and this was agreed upon as reported in a number of consensus papers. The Society of Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders supports the recommendations of more recent consensus conferences, i.e. that rapid screening, such as with the SARC-F questionnaire, should be utilized with a formal diagnosis being made by measuring grip strength or chair stand together with DXA estimation of appendicular muscle mass (indexed for height2). Assessments of the utility of ultrasound and creatine dilution techniques are ongoing. Use of ultrasound may not be easily reproducible. Primary sarcopenia is aging associated (mediated) loss of muscle mass. Secondary sarcopenia (or disease-related sarcopenia) has predominantly focused on loss of muscle mass without the emphasis on muscle function. Diseases that can cause muscle wasting (i.e. secondary sarcopenia) include malignant cancer, COPD, heart failure, and renal failure and others. Management of sarcopenia should consist of resistance exercise in combination with a protein intake of 1 to 1.5 g/kg/day. There is insufficient evidence that vitamin D and anabolic steroids are beneficial. These recommendations apply to both primary (age-related) sarcopenia and secondary (disease related) sarcopenia. Secondary sarcopenia also needs appropriate treatment of the underlying disease. It is important that primary care health professionals become aware of and make the diagnosis of age-related and disease-related sarcopenia. It is important to address the risk factors for sarcopenia, particularly low physical activity and sedentary behavior in the general population, using a life-long approach. There is a need for more clinical research into the appropriate measurement for muscle mass and the management of sarcopenia. Accordingly, this position statement provides recommendations on the management of sarcopenia and how to progress the knowledge and recognition of sarcopenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-961
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Cachexia
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Muscle
  • Muscle strength
  • Sarcopenia
  • Skeletal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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