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Sarcopenia: The “New” Condition You Need to Know About

Thanks to the work of the Aging in Motion (AIM) Coalition, the CDC has named sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and associated weakness during aging, as a medically recognized condition.

Jun 13 2016

When it comes to aging, a lot of people just consider muscle loss a given. However, that muscle loss and weakness, called sarcopenia, is now recognized as a distinct and reportable medical condition by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Affecting about 45 percent of older adults in the U.S., sarcopenia can result in losses in strength, energy and mobility, as well as an increased risk of falls, illness and poor health into old age.        

That’s why, the Aging in Motion (AIM) Coalition, a team of patient, caregiver, health and aging groups led the efforts to qualify sarcopenia as a reportable condition within the 10th edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problem (ICD-10). The AIM coalition which includes Abbott strives to advance research and treatment of sarcopenia and age-related functional decline.

What does this mean? Now, the medical community will be able to better identify sarcopenia cases in patients and report on them. With tracking in place, scientist will be able to benefit from the data and better research and develop therapies that will promote worldwide prevention guidelines.

“Sarcopenia has long been an under-recognized, chronic health care challenge affecting older adults,” Cynthia Bens, executive director of AIM, said in a press release. “The AIM Coalition has worked diligently to secure recognition of sarcopenia by the CDC, and we look forward to seeing how it helps our efforts to raise awareness and reduce treatment barriers in the medical, public policy and research communities.”

“This move recognizes sarcopenia as a major public health problem facing our aging population. Our work going forward is to better understand what causes sarcopenia and to develop interventions that can slow its progression. The end goal is to help adults maintain their independence and live fuller lives,” said Suzette Pereira, PhD, associate research fellow with Abbott.

Want more info on the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia? Check out these articles from the experts at Abbott:

Muscle Health: 5 Things You Need to Know 

Use, Don't Lose: Maintain Your Muscle Strength

Slowing Muscle Loss As You Age

Hospitalized? Watch Out for Muscle Loss