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Prevalence of sarcopenia in Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Existing literature suggests that sarcopenia is a highly prevalent condition in older people. However, most studies to date reporting data on its prevalence have been mainly carried out in Western countries, while data on sarcopenia in Africa is scarce.

With this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to determine the prevalence of sarcopenia in African countries and to explore potential factors that could explain higher or lower prevalence of this condition in Africa. Major databases for studies reporting data on sarcopenia in African countries were searched from inception to June 2023.

We conducted a meta-analysis of the prevalence [and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs)] of sarcopenia in Africa, applying a random effect model. Several sensitivity and meta-regression analyses were run.

Among 147 articles initially screened, six articles (with seven cohorts) including a total of 10,656 participants were included. Mean age of participants was 66.9 years, and the majority were female (58.1%).

The weighted prevalence of sarcopenia in the selected countries of Africa was 25.72% (95%CI: 18.90-32.55). This outcome was characterized by a high heterogeneity (I = 99%) and by publication bias.

Among the factors investigated, sarcopenia was lower when assessed using only one anthropometric measure, or in South Africa. Sarcopenia is a prevalent condition in Africa and thus research regarding this topic is a public health priority.

Future studies that cover African countries for which data are not available and using standardized criteria are needed.

Konstantinos Prokopidis

Nutrition

University of Liverpool

United Kingdom

172

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Main topics

Publications Clinical Trials

Sarcopenia
Food and Beverages
Amidines
Guanidines
Cachexia
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