Sarcopenia linked to depression
Sarcopenia appears to be independently associated with depression, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Researchers searched multiple electronic literature databases for observational studies investigating the relationship between sarcopenia and depression. A total of 15 articles were included.
Ten studies reported an association between sarcopenia and depression (crude odds ratio [OR], 1.640; 95 percent CI, 1.247 to 2.155). This association was retained after adjusting for potential confounders such as age, gender, cognitive performance and physical activity (adjusted OR, 1.821; 1.160 to 2.859).
A stratified analysis demonstrated that the studies using bioelectrical impedance analysis for measurement of body composition tended to report an elevated association between sarcopenia and depression compared with those that used dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or equation estimation.
Known as “poverty of flesh,” sarcopenia occurs in ageing and is characterized by a progressive deterioration in the mass, strength and function of muscle tissue. Such deteriorations have been reported to induce serious health consequences, with sarcopenia said to be the main driver of the decreased independence and quality of life associated with ageing. [J Am Geriatr Soc 2002;50:889–96]
Potential mechanisms linking sarcopenia and common mental disorders involve (1) neurotrophins, which promote neuronal survival, driving neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which is a key region of the brain implicated in psychiatric illness; and (2) inflammation and oxidative stress. [Curr Osteoporos Rep 2015;13:351-7]
Health recommendations across the life course should focus on the achievement of optimal peak muscle mass and performance, as well as a slowing or reversal of age-related muscle deterioration, to reduce the burden of disability and frailty in later life. [J Nutr Health Aging 2000;4:140–2; Curr Aging Sci 2011;3:90–101]