Endocrinol Metab.  2013 Jun;28(2):86-89. 10.3803/EnM.2013.28.2.86.

Sarcopenia and Sarcopenic Obesity

  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. medica7@gmail.com


The aging process is associated with progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, as well as decline in physical functioning. Although consensus diagnosis has not been reached, sarcopenia is increasingly defined by both loss of muscle mass and loss of muscle function or strength. The cause of sarcopenia is suggested as multifactorial, including hormonal changes, inflammatory pathway activation, fatty infiltration, poor nutrition, and decreased physical activity. Sarcopenia is often associated with visceral obesity. Sarcopenic obesity in the elderly impacts metabolic complications and represents a major public health challenge in a rapidly aging society. Further research about sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity may be needed to confront the influence of aging society in Korea.


Sarcopenia; Obesity; Muscle

MeSH Terms

Motor Activity
Obesity, Abdominal
Public Health

Cited by  7 articles

Association between Sarcopenic Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Postmenopausal Women: A Cross-sectional Study Based on the Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys from 2008 to 2011
Sun-Young Kang, Gyeong Eun Lim, Yang Keun Kim, Hye Won Kim, Kayoung Lee, Tae-Jin Park, Jinseung Kim
J Bone Metab. 2017;24(1):9-14.    doi: 10.11005/jbm.2017.24.1.9.

Sarcopenia Associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Sang Hun Kim, Myung Jun Shin, Yong Beom Shin, Ki Uk Kim
J Bone Metab. 2019;26(2):65-74.    doi: 10.11005/jbm.2019.26.2.65.

Brief Review of Articles in 'Endocrinology and Metabolism' in 2013
Won-Young Lee
Endocrinol Metab. 2014;29(3):251-256.    doi: 10.3803/EnM.2014.29.3.251.

Changes in Body Composition According to Age and Sex among Young Non-Diabetic Korean Adults: The Kangbuk Samsung Health Study
Seul-Ki Kim, Yu-Hyun Kwon, Jung Hwan Cho, Da Young Lee, Se Eun Park, Hyung-Geun Oh, Cheol-Young Park, Won-Young Lee, Ki-Won Oh, Sung-Woo Park, Eun-Jung Rhee
Endocrinol Metab. 2017;32(4):442-450.    doi: 10.3803/EnM.2017.32.4.442.

Sarcopenia and Neurosurgery
Seung Won Park
J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2014;56(2):79-85.    doi: 10.3340/jkns.2014.56.2.79.

Effect of CCL11 on In Vitro Myogenesis and Its Clinical Relevance for Sarcopenia in Older Adults
Da Ae Kim, So Jeong Park, Jin Young Lee, Jeoung Hee Kim, Seungjoo Lee, Eunju Lee, Il-Young Jang, Hee-Won Jung, Jin Hoon Park, Beom-Jun Kim
Endocrinol Metab. 2021;36(2):455-465.    doi: 10.3803/EnM.2020.942.

Associations between Weight-Adjusted Waist Index and Abdominal Fat and Muscle Mass: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Ji Yoon Kim, Jimi Choi, Chantal A. Vella, Michael H. Criqui, Matthew A. Allison, Nam Hoon Kim
Diabetes Metab J. 2022;46(5):747-755.    doi: 10.4093/dmj.2021.0294.


1. Rosenberg IH, Roubenoff R. Stalking sarcopenia. Ann Intern Med. 1995. 123:727–728.
2. Fielding RA, Vellas B, Evans WJ, Bhasin S, Morley JE, Newman AB, Abellan van Kan G, Andrieu S, Bauer J, Breuille D, Cederholm T, Chandler J, De Meynard C, Donini L, Harris T, Kannt A, Keime Guibert F, Onder G, Papanicolaou D, Rolland Y, Rooks D, Sieber C, Souhami E, Verlaan S, Zamboni M. International working group on sarcopenia. Sarcopenia: an undiagnosed condition in older adults. Current consensus definition: prevalence, etiology, and consequences. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2011. 12:249–256.
3. Short KR, Vittone JL, Bigelow ML, Proctor DN, Nair KS. Age and aerobic exercise training effects on whole body and muscle protein metabolism. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004. 286:E92–E101.
4. Ferrucci L, Guralnik JM, Buchner D, Kasper J, Lamb SE, Simonsick EM, Corti MC, Bandeen-Roche K, Fried LP. Departures from linearity in the relationship between measures of muscular strength and physical performance of the lower extremities: the Women's Health and Aging Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1997. 52:M275–M285.
5. Verdijk LB, Koopman R, Schaart G, Meijer K, Savelberg HH, van Loon LJ. Satellite cell content is specifically reduced in type II skeletal muscle fibers in the elderly. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007. 292:E151–E157.
6. Cohn SH, Vartsky D, Yasumura S, Sawitsky A, Zanzi I, Vaswani A, Ellis KJ. Compartmental body composition based on total-body nitrogen, potassium, and calcium. Am J Physiol. 1980. 239:E524–E530.
7. Stenholm S, Harris TB, Rantanen T, Visser M, Kritchevsky SB, Ferrucci L. Sarcopenic obesity: definition, cause and consequences. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008. 11:693–700.
8. Baumgartner RN, Koehler KM, Gallagher D, Romero L, Heymsfield SB, Ross RR, Garry PJ, Lindeman RD. Epidemiology of sarcopenia among the elderly in New Mexico. Am J Epidemiol. 1998. 147:755–763.
9. Janssen I, Heymsfield SB, Ross R. Low relative skeletal muscle mass (sarcopenia) in older persons is associated with functional impairment and physical disability. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002. 50:889–896.
10. Newman AB, Kupelian V, Visser M, Simonsick E, Goodpaster B, Nevitt M, Kritchevsky SB, Tylavsky FA, Rubin SM, Harris TB. Health ABC Study Investigators. Sarcopenia: alternative definitions and associations with lower extremity function. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003. 51:1602–1609.
11. Cruz-Jentoft AJ, Baeyens JP, Bauer JM, Boirie Y, Cederholm T, Landi F, Martin FC, Michel JP, Rolland Y, Schneider SM, Topinkova E, Vandewoude M, Zamboni M. European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis: report of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Age Ageing. 2010. 39:412–423.
12. Wang C, Bai L. Sarcopenia in the elderly: basic and clinical issues. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2012. 12:388–396.
13. Zadik Z, Chalew SA, McCarter RJ Jr, Meistas M, Kowarski AA. The influence of age on the 24-hour integrated concentration of growth hormone in normal individuals. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1985. 60:513–516.
14. Zoico E, Roubenoff R. The role of cytokines in regulating protein metabolism and muscle function. Nutr Rev. 2002. 60:39–51.
15. Lang CH, Frost RA, Nairn AC, MacLean DA, Vary TC. TNF-alpha impairs heart and skeletal muscle protein synthesis by altering translation initiation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2002. 282:E336–E347.
16. Baz-Hecht M, Goldfine AB. The impact of vitamin D deficiency on diabetes and cardiovascular risk. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2010. 17:113–119.
17. Perry HM 3rd, Horowitz M, Morley JE, Patrick P, Vellas B, Baumgartner R, Garry PJ. Longitudinal changes in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in older people. Metabolism. 1999. 48:1028–1032.
18. Kim TN, Park MS, Lim KI, Choi HY, Yang SJ, Yoo HJ, Kang HJ, Song W, Choi H, Baik SH, Choi DS, Choi KM. Relationships between sarcopenic obesity and insulin resistance, inflammation, and vitamin D status: the Korean Sarcopenic Obesity Study. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013. 78:525–532.
19. Hiona A, Leeuwenburgh C. The role of mitochondrial DNA mutations in aging and sarcopenia: implications for the mitochondrial vicious cycle theory of aging. Exp Gerontol. 2008. 43:24–33.
20. McCroskery S, Thomas M, Maxwell L, Sharma M, Kambadur R. Myostatin negatively regulates satellite cell activation and self-renewal. J Cell Biol. 2003. 162:1135–1147.
21. Lang T, Streeper T, Cawthon P, Baldwin K, Taaffe DR, Harris TB. Sarcopenia: etiology, clinical consequences, intervention, and assessment. Osteoporos Int. 2010. 21:543–559.
22. Kim TN, Park MS, Yang SJ, Yoo HJ, Kang HJ, Song W, Seo JA, Kim SG, Kim NH, Baik SH, Choi DS, Choi KM. Prevalence and determinant factors of sarcopenia in patients with type 2 diabetes: the Korean Sarcopenic Obesity Study (KSOS). Diabetes Care. 2010. 33:1497–1499.
23. Kim TN, Yang SJ, Yoo HJ, Lim KI, Kang HJ, Song W, Seo JA, Kim SG, Kim NH, Baik SH, Choi DS, Choi KM. Prevalence of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity in Korean adults: the Korean sarcopenic obesity study. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009. 33:885–892.
24. Park SW, Goodpaster BH, Lee JS, Kuller LH, Boudreau R, de Rekeneire N, Harris TB, Kritchevsky S, Tylavsky FA, Nevitt M, Cho YW, Newman AB. Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Excessive loss of skeletal muscle mass in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2009. 32:1993–1997.
25. Lim S, Kim JH, Yoon JW, Kang SM, Choi SH, Park YJ, Kim KW, Lim JY, Park KS, Jang HC. Sarcopenic obesity: prevalence and association with metabolic syndrome in the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging (KLoSHA). Diabetes Care. 2010. 33:1652–1654.
26. Miller MD, Crotty M, Giles LC, Bannerman E, Whitehead C, Cobiac L, Daniels LA, Andrews G. Corrected arm muscle area: an independent predictor of long-term mortality in community-dwelling older adults? J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002. 50:1272–1277.
27. Heitmann BL, Erikson H, Ellsinger BM, Mikkelsen KL, Larsson B. Mortality associated with body fat, fat-free mass and body mass index among 60-year-old swedish men-a 22-year follow-up. The study of men born in 1913. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000. 24:33–37.
28. Kim TN, Park MS, Yang SJ, Yoo HJ, Kang HJ, Song W, Seo JA, Kim SG, Kim NH, Baik SH, Choi DS, Choi KM. Body size phenotypes and low muscle mass: the Korean sarcopenic obesity study (KSOS). J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013. 98:811–817.
Full Text Links
  • ENM
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2024 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr