EFFECTS OF SARCOPENIA AND SARCOPENIC OBESITY ON THE HEALTH STATUS OF ELDERLY POPULATION
Sarcopenic obesity (SO) is a category of obesity that occurs predominantly in elderly people who experience an increase in adipose tissue associated with muscle mass loss. It is associated with higher mortality rates than sarcopenia and obesity alone, thus confirming the need to redefine obesity and sarcopenia based on the new parameters-the simple determination of the body mass index becoming unsatisfactory. Quantification of obesity is done by measuring through various imaging techniques the percentage of fat mass, muscle mass/lean body tissue and bone mass or the ratio of visceral fat to thigh muscle area (determined by computed tomography). Redefinition of sarcopenia is a decrease in striated muscle mass associated with either a decrease in muscle strength (hand grip strength) or reduced physical activity ("gait speed"); when all three criteria are met, we talk of severe sarcopenia. These new parameters result from the fact that in sarcopenia there is no parallel loss of muscle mass and muscle strength, and that the alteration of muscle strength is a more important risk factor for overall mortality than the decline in muscle mass. For these reasons, quantification of the degree of sarcopenia is done by individual assessment of the three parameters: muscle mass, muscle strength and physical activity. Although currently there is no consensus on the definition of SO, all authors agree on its serious consequences on the quality of life of the elderly, favoring cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, aggravating frailty, significantly increasing the risk of falling and of developing disabilities, and finally, increase in overall mortality. Today, SO identification, prevention and treatment become priority interventions in the therapeutic plan of the elderly to ensure successful aging and maintain a quality of life corresponding to expectations.
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