The prevalence of obesity in combination with sarcopenia is increasing in adults aged 65 years and older. Sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass and strength or physical function, naturally occurs in ageing. A major subset of adults over the age of 65 is now classified as having sarcopenic obesity, a high-risk geriatric syndrome predominantly observed in an ageing population that is at risk of synergistic complications from both sarcopenia and obesity.
As elevated BMI, functional impairment, increased mortality, and reduction in quality of life are observationally associated, addressing sarcopenic obesity is important for preventing long term disability in the older adults at high risk.
The growing challenges associated with sarcopenic obesity will probably worsen with the changing demographic distribution of our ageing population. Effective evidence-based therapies can be helpful for improving physical function in older adults. Clarifying the mechanisms that contribute to sarcopenic obesity might elucidate novel therapies to improve function, quality of life and prevent institutionalization.
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