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Table 1 Proposed operational definitions of sarcopenia

From: Sarcopenia: burden and challenges for public health

Criteria Muscle mass Muscle function
    Muscle strength   Physical performance
Baumgartner criteria [4] Sarcopenia ASM/ ht2 > 2 SD below young healthy mean x   x
European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Special Interest Groups (ESPEN-SIG) [7] Sarcopenia Percentage of muscle mass ≥2 SD below mean in young adults of the same sex and ethnic background (individuals aged 18–39 years in the NHANES III cohort) x   Gait speed: <0.8 m/s or Reduced performance in any functional test used for comprehensive geriatric assessment
European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) [8] Sarcopenia ALM/ht2 Grip strength OR Gait speed: <0.8 m/s
- Men: ≤7.23 kg/m2 - Men: <30 kg
- Women: ≤5.67 kg/m2 - Women: <20 kg
Severe sarcopenia AND
International Working Group on Sarcopenia (IWGS) [9] Sarcopenia ALM/ht2 x   Gait speed: <1.0 m/s
- Men: ≤7.23 kg/m2
- Women: ≤5.67 kg/m2
Society of Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders [10] Sarcopenia with limited mobility ALM/ht2 > of 2 SD below the mean of healthy persons aged 20–30 years of the same ethnic group x   Gait speed: ≤1.0 m/s or Walking distance < 400 m during a 6-min walk
Foundation of NIH Sarcopenia Project [11] Weakness and low lean mass ALMBMI Grip strength   x
   - Men: <0.789 - Men: <26 kg   
   - Women: <0.512 - Women: <16 kg   
  Slowness with weakness and low lean mass    AND Gait speed: ≤0.8 m/s
  1. ASM/ ht2 = ratio of appendicular skeletal muscle mass over height squared; ALM/ht2 = ratio of appendicular lean mass over height squared; ALMBMI = ratio of appendicular lean mass over body mass index; SD standard deviation.