Name of RepresentativeDr. Leng Huat Foo
Name of Employer/OrganizationUniversiti Sains Malaysia
PositionAssociate Professor
Grant Year2015

Research Theme

Assessments of Sarcopenia and Its Associated Factors in Community-Dwelling
Malaysian Chinese Middle-aged Adults and Elderly


Background. Sarcopenia is considered as an emerging public health problems and challenges worldwide, including in Malaysia, but very limited information concerning the influence of lifestyle factors and blood inflammation levels on sarcopenia among community-dwelling older populations in Asia.
Participants and Methods. A total of 232 apparently healthy Chinese middle-aged and elderly were included in the study. Validated questionnaires were used to assess dietary and lifestyle practices, whereas pro-inflammatory cytokine status was assessed by blood interleukin-6 concentrations (IL-6). Sarcopenia was assessed by diagnostic criteria of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia.
Results. The prevalence of sarcopenia was 12.5% among these apparently healthy community dwelling Chinese older adults. A similar pattern of sarcopenia was found between males and females. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that older age and higher concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokine levels of IL-6 were significantly associated with greater risk of sarcopenia, after adjustments of age, gender and body composition levels.
Conclusion. The present findings indicate that older adults aged 70 years and above and higher inflammation levels had significantly greater sarcopenia risk. Hence, effective dietary and lifestyle intervention strategies should emphasize to reduce the inflammation associated with aging in order to prevent the rapid loss of muscle mass and strength that can lead to sarcopenia. Moreover, prospective studies with large sample size are required to further elucidate the natural progression and predisposing modifiable dietary and lifestyle factors associated with rapid loss of muscle mass and strength that consequently leading to sarcopenia.