The FNIH sarcopenia project: Rationale, study description, conference recommendations, and final estimates

Stephanie A. Studenski, Katherine W. Peters, Dawn E. Alley, Peggy M. Cawthon, Robert R. McLean, Tamara B. Harris, Luigi Ferrucci, Jack M. Guralnik, Maren S. Fragala, Anne M. Kenny, Douglas P. Kiel, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Michelle D. Shardell, Thuy Tien L Dam, Maria T. Vassileva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background.Low muscle mass and weakness are common and potentially disabling in older adults, but in order to become recognized as a clinical condition, criteria for diagnosis should be based on clinically relevant thresholds and independently validated. The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Biomarkers Consortium Sarcopenia Project used an evidence-based approach to develop these criteria. Initial findings were presented at a conference in May 2012, which generated recommendations that guided additional analyses to determine final recommended criteria. Details of the Project and its findings are presented in four accompanying manuscripts.Methods.The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Sarcopenia Project used data from nine sources of community-dwelling older persons: Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study, Boston Puerto Rican Health Study, a series of six clinical trials, Framingham Heart Study, Health, Aging, and Body Composition, Invecchiare in Chianti, Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study, Rancho Bernardo Study, and Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Feedback from conference attendees was obtained via surveys and breakout groups.Results.The pooled sample included 26,625 participants (57% women, mean age in men 75.2 [±6.1 SD] and in women 78.6 [±5.9] years). Conference attendees emphasized the importance of evaluating the influence of body mass on cutpoints. Based on the analyses presented in this series, the final recommended cutpoints for weakness are grip strength

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-558
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume69 A
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Muscle
  • Outcomes
  • Sarcopenia
  • Weakness.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)


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