DOI: 10.12809/hkmj164866
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
A few seconds to screen for sarcopenia
Martin Hofmeister, PhD
Consumer Centre of the German Federal State of Bavaria, Department Food and Nutrition, Mozartstraβe 9, D-80336 Munich, Germany
 
Corresponding author: Dr Martin Hofmeister (hofmeister@vzbayern.de)
 
 Full paper in PDF
 
To the Editor—I thank Ho et al1 for their very interesting article “Prevalence of pre-sarcopenia and sarcopenia in Hong Kong Chinese geriatric patients with hip fracture and its correlation with different factors” in the February 2016 issue of the Hong Kong Medical Journal. I would like to mention another recent sarcopenia study in elderly Chinese men and women with a mean age of 81 years. The research group led by Hong et al2 showed that 42% of female patients and 84% of male patients with hip fracture were sarcopenic. In this study, the prevalence of sarcopenia with vertebral fracture was 34% in women and 40% in men. I agree with the authors that screening measures should be implemented more.1 In a general practice setting, measurement of SARC-F sarcopenia scale is feasible, simple, quick and inexpensive, and does not expose the patient to any particular strain (Table).3 The scale has also been evaluated in elderly patients in Hong Kong with direct measurement of muscle mass, strength, and physical performance.4 5 If a SARC-F score of ≥4 has been measured in an older patient, diagnosis of sarcopenia can be substantiated rather quickly.3 In my opinion, the SARC-F screen for sarcopenia should be routinely carried out among the Chinese elderly population every time they consult their doctor.
 

Table. The Simple “SARC-F” Sarcopenia Questionnaire (0-10 points)3
 
References
1. Ho AW, Lee MM, Chan EW, et al. Prevalence of pre-sarcopenia and sarcopenia in Hong Kong Chinese geriatric patients with hip fracture and its correlation with different factors. Hong Kong Med J 2016;22:23-9. CrossRef
2. Hong W, Cheng Q, Zhu X, et al. Prevalence of sarcopenia and its relationship with sites of fragility fractures in elderly Chinese men and women. PLoS One 2015;10:e0138102. CrossRef
3. Malmstrom TK, Morley JE. SARC-F: a simple questionnaire to rapidly diagnose sarcopenia. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2013;14:531-2. CrossRef
4. Woo J, Leung J, Morley JE. Validating the SARC-F: a suitable community screening tool for sarcopenia? J Am Med Dir Assoc 2014;15:630-4. CrossRef
5. Woo J, Leung J, Morley JE. Defining sarcopenia in terms of incident adverse outcomes. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2015;16:247-52. CrossRef