This paper reviews the main mechanisms, diagnostic criteria, treatment options and available data on sarcopenia in endocrine and non-endocrine disorders. The literature notes the presence of sarcopenia as a comorbid condition or a complication of another clinical situation and not a disease that only affects elderly patients.
We performed a literature review, focusing on the following: mechanisms related to sarcopenia in elderly patients, and sarcopenia as it presents in the context of chronic and endocrine diseases; diagnostic tools and methods; aspects of sarcopenia and treatment options specific to chronic diseases and endocrine disorders respectively.
Sarcopenia in chronic and endocrine disorders shares many mechanisms with sarcopenia affecting elderly patients, but certain diseases can have a predominant aspect that leads to sarcopenia. The prevalence of sarcopenia varies, depending on different diagnostic criteria, from around 12 to 60% in chronic illnesses and 15 to 90% in endocrine disorders. The interplay between sarcopenia, chronic diseases and elderly patients requires further study, to clarify the impact of each, in terms of prognosis and mortality.
Awareness of the presentation of sarcopenia in the context of other diseases and ages (and not just the elderly) is fundamental to ensure that preventive measures can be deployed.