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Background: Older people suffer the greatest number of fatal falls worldwide. Sarcopenia is one of the geriatric syndromes that increases risk of falls. However, there are limited studies among Thai older adults which address risk factors for this condition. Here we evaluate the prevalence of sarcopenia, and measure associations with risk factors among Thai community-dwelling older adults.

Methods: This cross-sectional study collected information on socio-demography, physical activity, and anthropometry as well as a semi-food frequency questionnaire. Sarcopenia was defined using the criteria of Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia (AWGS) consensus. Muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical performance were determined using bioelectrical impedance analyzer, handgrip dynamometer, and 6-meter usual gait speed respectively. Factors that were associated with sarcopenia were analyzed using multiple logistic regression.

Results: Of the 510 participants,mean age was 69.1 (SD = 6.7) years. The majority were female (67.3%) and 44.3% had insufficient daily dietary protein intake. The prevalence of sarcopenia was 5.3%. Factors associated with sarcopenia were male sex (adjusted OR = 5.35; 95% CI: 1.68–17.00), increased body mass index (BMI) (adjusted OR = 0.52; 95% CI: 0.39–0.70) and increased calf circumference (CC) (adjusted OR = 0.67; 95% CI: 0.54–0.84).

Conclusion: The prevalence of sarcopenia among Thai community-dwelling older adults using the AWGS consensus was quite low. Every one unit increase in BMI and CC reduced the chance of having sarcopenia. Thus, the issue of underweight status among older Thais is crucial for reducing sarcopenia and associated injury risks.