Osteoporosis is a medical condition characterized by bones becoming brittle and fragile. Age-related loss in muscle mass and strength is considered analogous to osteoporosis but this “sarcopenia” is not recognized as a clinical condition even though it is linked to impaired physical function and contribute to disability, falls, and hospitalizations. Lower muscle mass and strength are also associated with lower bone mineral density and greater risk for osteoporotic fractures.

Why isn't sarcopenia more accepted? No valid diagnostic criteria whereas osteoporosis can be diagnosed based on widely accepted clinical standards.

A new review addresses the concern and points to efforts aimed at developing and refining sarcopenia criteria, focusing on the latest recommended diagnostic criteria proposed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Sarcopenia Project. 

“For over 20 years, the lack of a consensus definition for sarcopenia has been a significant barrier for the development of interventions aimed at preserving or improving muscle mass and strength in older adults,” said Dr. Robert McLean, lead author of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research review. “The recent and ongoing efforts of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Sarcopenia Project are a major advancement toward closing this important gap.”

Citation: Robert R McLean, Douglas P Kiel, 'Developing Consensus Criteria for Sarcopenia: An Update', Journal of Bone and Mineral Research DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.2492