Does gait speed contribute to sarcopenia case-finding in a postacute rehabilitation setting?

Dolores Sánchez-Rodríguez, Ester Marco, Ramón Miralles, Anna Guillén-Solà, Olga Vázquez-Ibar, Ferrán Escalada, Josep M. Muniesa

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17 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Objective: The European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) has developed an algorithm based on gait speed measurement to begin sarcopenia case-finding in clinical practice, in which a cut-off point of <0.8. m/s identifies risk for sarcopenia in community-dwelling older people. The objective of this study was to assess the application of the EWGSOP algorithm in hospitalised elderly patients with impaired functional capacity. Methods: One hundred in-patients (aged 84.1 SD 8.5, 62% women) were prospectively studied in a postacute care geriatric unit focused on rehabilitation. Sarcopenia was assessed by corporal composition (electrical bioimpedance), handgrip strength, and physical performance (gait speed). Other measurements were Charlson index, length of stay, and functional gain at discharge and 3-month follow-up. All patients were screened by the EWGSOP algorithm and sarcopenia was confirmed according to diagnostic criteria. Results: Gait speed was <0.8. m/s in all cases and 58 patients had low muscle mass, which, according to the EWGSOP-algorithm, would indicate a diagnosis of sarcopenia. No differences were observed in functional capacity between these patients and those with normal muscle mass. When decreased handgrip strength was considered, 47 of these patients met the EWGSOP criteria for severe sarcopenia. In this group, differences in functional capacity were observed at discharge (Barthel 45.2 vs. 56.3, p= 0.042) and 3-month follow-up (48.3 vs. 59.8, p= 0.047). Conclusion: The application of the EWGSOP algorithm in hospitalised, postacute, elderly patients with low gait speed suggested that muscle strength should be considered before confirming or discarding a sarcopenia diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-181
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • Gait speed
  • Geriatrics
  • Handgrip strength
  • Muscle function
  • Muscle mass
  • Postacute
  • Sarcopenia


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