Categorized | Technology

Groups seek better diagnosis and treatment of debilitating muscle loss in seniors

As people age, their muscle mass inevitably starts to decline.

Everyone starts to lose muscle beginning at age 30, a natural process known as sarcopenia. The lean muscle mass in firm biceps and abs gradually becomes soft layers of fat. For some older people the muscle loss can be severe and debilitating, causing functional decline and loss of independence.

Severe muscle decline, doctors are finding, is one of the root causes of a host of other health problems that plague the elderly, including physical frailty, hip fractures and other injuries.

Health care providers believe the condition can make people so weak it puts them at more risk of falling and injuring themselves. People with severe sarcopenia may have trouble walking and end up in wheelchairs or using canes. It also can be more difficult to perform some surgeries on people with the condition.

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