Sarcopenia and malnutrition: impact on the outcome in hospitalized patients

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Francesca Remelli
Stefano Volpato *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Stefano Volpato | vlt@unife.it

Abstract

Sarcopenia is a condition caused by a progressive loss of lean body mass and muscle strength, related to aging; this leads to a progressive decrease of physical performance. Sarcopenia is inherently connected with a major risk of disability, hospitalization and mortality. Prevalence of sarcopenia increases with increasing age, in particular among hospitalized geriatric patients, with male dominance. Malnutrition is also very frequent condition in elderly patients during hospital stay and it is involved in the development of sarcopenia. The most common therapeutic approach for both malnutrition and sarcopenia is an increased nutritional support with a protein-rich diet. This narrative review summarises the biological mechanism linking sarcopenia and malnutrition in older hospitalized patients and examines evidence supporting the use of oral nutritional support for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition an sarcopenia in acutely ill medical patients.

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