Sarcopenia Definitions as Predictors of Fracture Risk Independent of FRAX®, Falls, and BMD in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study: A Meta-Analysis

Nicholas C. Harvey, Eric Orwoll, Timothy Kwok, Magnus K. Karlsson, Björn E. Rosengren, Eva Ribom, Jane A. Cauley, Peggy M. Cawthon, Kristine Ensrud, Enwu Liu, Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft, Roger A. Fielding, Cyrus Cooper, John A. Kanis, Mattias Lorentzon, Claes Ohlsson, Dan Mellström, Helena Johansson, Eugene McCloskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-derived appendicular lean mass/height2 (ALM/ht2) is the most commonly used estimate of muscle mass in the assessment of sarcopenia, but its predictive value for fracture is substantially attenuated by femoral neck (fn) bone mineral density (BMD). We investigated predictive value of 11 sarcopenia definitions for incident fracture, independent of fnBMD, fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX®) probability, and prior falls, using an extension of Poisson regression in US, Sweden, and Hong Kong Osteoporois Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) cohorts. Definitions tested were those of Baumgartner and Delmonico (ALM/ht2 only), Morley, the International Working Group on Sarcopenia, European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP1 and 2), Asian Working Group on Sarcopenia, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) 1 and 2 (using ALM/body mass index [BMI], incorporating muscle strength and/or physical performance measures plus ALM/ht2), and Sarcopenia Definitions and Outcomes Consortium (gait speed and grip strength). Associations were adjusted for age and time since baseline and reported as hazard ratio (HR) for first incident fracture, here major osteoporotic fracture (MOF; clinical vertebral, hip, distal forearm, proximal humerus). Further analyses adjusted additionally for FRAX-MOF probability (n = 7531; calculated ± fnBMD), prior falls (y/n), or fnBMD T-score. Results were synthesized by meta-analysis. In 5660 men in USA, 2764 Sweden and 1987 Hong Kong (mean ages 73.5, 75.4, and 72.4 years, respectively), sarcopenia prevalence ranged from 0.5% to 35%. Sarcopenia status, by all definitions except those of FNIH, was associated with incident MOF (HR = 1.39 to 2.07). Associations were robust to adjustment for prior falls or FRAX probability (without fnBMD); adjustment for fnBMD T-score attenuated associations. EWGSOP2 severe sarcopenia (incorporating chair stand time, gait speed, and grip strength plus ALM) was most predictive, albeit at low prevalence, and appeared only modestly influenced by inclusion of fnBMD. In conclusion, the predictive value for fracture of sarcopenia definitions based on ALM is reduced by adjustment for fnBMD but strengthened by additional inclusion of physical performance measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1244
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • FRAX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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