Sarcopenic obesity ups fall risk in postmenopausal women
Sarcopenic obesity appears to increase the rate of falls in postmenopausal women, particularly in those of Hispanic background, reports a recent study.
Using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, researchers evaluated bone and body composition in 9,924 postmenopausal women (aged 50–79 years). Those with both sarcopenia (lowest 20th percentile of appendicular lean mass) and obesity (body fat percentage >42 percent) were determined to have sarcopenic obesity.
Majority (74.7 percent; n=7,415) of the sample were nonfallers reporting at most one fall event in any year. The remaining 25.3 percent (n=2,509) had at least two falls per year and were categorized as fallers.
Stratifying the participants according to age, researchers found that in those who were aged 50–64 years at baseline, all three measures of body composition were associated with higher risks of falls: sarcopenia (adjusted relative risk [RR], 1.32; 95 percent CI, 1.01–1.74), obesity (adjusted RR, 1.22; 1.08–1.37) and sarcopenic obesity (adjusted RR, 1.35; 1.17–1.56).
In comparison, in women aged 65–79 years at baseline, only obesity (adjusted RR, 1.16; 1.03–1.30) and sarcopenic obesity (adjusted RR, 1.21; 1.05–1.39), but not sarcopenia alone (adjusted RR, 1.07; 0.81–1.43), were significantly correlated with falls.
In terms of race and ethnicity, researchers showed that sarcopenic obesity strongly predicted fall incidence in Hispanic (adjusted RR, 2.40; 1.56–3.67) and non-Hispanic White (adjusted RR, 1.24; 1.11–1.39) participants.
Further studies should focus on coming up with age- and race-specific prevention strategies for sarcopenic obesity in postmenopausal women, researchers said.