Original Research

Prevalence and factors associated with probable sarcopenia in southern Brazil: a population-based study


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Cristina dos Santos Paludo
1 PhD * ORCID logo

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Tatiane Nogueira Gonzalez
1 PhD ORCID logo

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Pedro San Martin Soares
2 PhD ORCID logo

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Rodrigo Dalke Meucci
1,3 PhD, Professor ORCID logo


1 Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

2 Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

3 Postgraduate Program in Public Health, Federal University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

ACCEPTED: 1 May 2024

early abstract:

Introduction: There are few studies on probable sarcopenia in rural areas. This study aims to assess prevalence of probable sarcopenia and its associated factors in older adults living in the rural area of a municipality in southern Brazil.
Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed data from the second wave of the EpiRural Cohort Study. Structured questionnaires, handgrip strength, gait speed, and anthropometric measurements were collected from 651 older adults. The criteria from the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 were used in this study. Chi-square test and logistic regression with robust variance were performed.
Results: Prevalence of probable sarcopenia was 19.2% (95% CI: 16.3–25.2%). Male sex (PR: 1.61; 95% CI: 1.17–2.21), age ≥80 years (PR: 4.15; 95% CI: 2.65–6.50), underweight (PR: 1.90; 95% CI: 1.23–2.93), diabetes mellitus (PR: 1.80; 95% CI: 1.20–2.73), and hospitalization in the last year (PR: 2.00; 95% CI: 1.36–2.91) were significantly associated with probable sarcopenia.
Conclusion: One in five rural older adults have probable sarcopenia. Older adults living in rural areas need frequent measurements of muscle strength, and greater investments should be made to minimize the physical disability caused by sarcopenia among this population.
Keywords: sarcopenia; EWGSOP2; associated factors; older adults; rural population