High Prevalence of Sarcopenia in Older Trauma Patients: A Pilot Study

R.C. Stassen, K.W. Reisinger, M. Al-Ali, M. Poeze, J.A. Ten Bosch, T.J. Blokhuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sarcopenia is related to adverse outcomes in various populations. However, little is known about the prevalence of sarcopenia in polytrauma patients. Identifying the number of patients at risk of adverse outcome will increase awareness to prevent further loss of muscle mass. We utilized data from a regional prospective trauma registry of all polytrauma patients presented between 2015 and 2019 at a single level-I trauma center. Subjects were screened for availability of computed tomography (CT)-abdomen and height in order to calculate skeletal mass index, which was used to estimate sarcopenia. Additional parameters regarding clinical outcome were assessed. Univariate analysis was performed to identify parameters related adverse outcome and, if identified, entered in a multivariate regression analysis. Prevalence of sarcopenia was 33.5% in the total population but was even higher in older age groups (range 60-79 years), reaching 82 % in patients over 80 years old. Sarcopenia was related to 30-day or in-hospital mortality (p= 0.032), as well as age (p< 0.0001), injury severity score (p= 0.026), and Charlson comorbidity index (p= 0.001). Log rank analysis identified sarcopenia as an independent predictor of 30-day mortality (p= 0.032). In conclusion, we observed a high prevalence of sarcopenia among polytrauma patients, further increasing in older patients. In addition, sarcopenia was identified as a predictor for 30-day mortality, underlining the clinical significance of identification of low muscle mass on a CT scan that is already routinely obtained in most trauma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2046
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • body-composition
  • complications
  • consensus
  • depletion
  • diagnosis
  • frailty
  • infection
  • mortality
  • muscle mass
  • polytrauma
  • predictor
  • prevalence
  • resection
  • sarcopenia
  • skeletal mass index

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