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The analysis of osteosarcopenia as a risk factor for fractures, mortality, and falls

Z Teng, Y Zhu1 , Y Teng, Q Long, Q Hao, X Yu, L Yang, Y Lv, J Liu, Y Zeng, S Lu

Osteoporos Int. 2021 Apr 20.doi: 10.1007/s00198-021-05963-x. Online ahead of print.

Osteosarcopenia is defined as the concomitant occurrence of sarcopenia and osteoporosis/osteopenia. This study aimed to clarify whether osteosarcopenia implies a greater risk of fractures, mortality, and falls and to draw attention to osteosarcopenia. Introduction: Osteosarcopenia, which is characterized by the co-existence of osteoporosis/osteopenia and sarcopenia, is one of the most challenging geriatric syndromes. However, the association between osteosarcopenia and the risk of falls, fractures, disability, and mortality is controversial.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, from their inception to March 18, 2021, for cohort studies on the relationship between osteosarcopenia and fractures, falls, and mortality. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality. A pooled analysis was performed to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using fixed or random-effects models.

Results: Eight cohort studies including 19,836 participants showed that osteosarcopenia significantly increased the risk of fracture (OR 2.46, 95% CI 1.83-3.30, Pheterogeneity = 0.006, I2 = 63.0%), three cohort studies involving 2601 participants indicated that osteosarcopenia significantly increased the risk of mortality (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.23-2.26, Pheterogeneity = 0.214, I2 = 35.2%), and three cohort studies involving 3144 participants indicated that osteosarcopenia significantly increased the risk of falls (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.28-2.04, Pheterogeneity = 0.219, I2 = 34.1%). No publication bias existed among the studies regarding the association between osteosarcopenia and fractures. The findings were robust according to the subgroup and sensitivity analyses.

 Conclusions: This pooled analysis demonstrated that osteosarcopenia significantly increased the risk of fractures, falls, and mortality, thus highlighting its relevance in daily life. Therefore, we suggest that elderly persons should be aware of the risks associated with osteosarcopenia.