BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia has been associated with a lower quality of life (QoL). However, studies on this association from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are scarce.
AIMS: To examine the association between sarcopenia and QoL, in a large nationally representative sample of older adults from six LMICs.
METHODS: Cross-sectional, community-based data from the WHO study on global ageing and adult health (SAGE) were analysed. Non-severe sarcopenia was defined as having low skeletal muscle mass (SMM) and weak handgrip strength but no slow gait speed, while severe sarcopenia was defined as having low SMM, weak handgrip strength, and slow gait speed. QoL was assessed with the 8-item WHO QoL instrument (range 0-100) with higher scores representing better QoL. Multivariable linear regression analysis was conducted.
RESULTS: Data on 14,585 people aged ≥ 65 years were analyzed [mean (SD) age 72.6 (11.5) years; 55.0% female]. After adjustment for potential confounders, compared to no sarcopenia, severe sarcopenia was associated with a significant - 3.37 points [95% CI - 5.56, - 1.18] lower QoL score. Non-severe sarcopenia was not significantly associated with lower QoL.
DISCUSSION: The association between sarcopenia and QoL observed in our study may be explained by factors such as functional impairment and disability related with sarcopenia.
CONCLUSIONS: In this large representative sample of older adults from multiple LMICs, compared to no sarcopenia, only severe sarcopenia was associated with a significantly lower QoL score. Interventions to prevent or manage sarcopenia among older adults in LMICs may contribute to better QoL in this population.
Bibliographical note© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
- Quality of life
- Older adults
- Low- and middle-income countries