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Comparison of sarcopenic status between elderly leprosy survivors and general population.
Because of chronicity and poor environments, elderly leprosy survivors might be at greater risk of developing obesity and sarcopenia than healthy individuals. This study aimed to investigate whether body composition and the prevalence of obesity and sarcopenia among elderly leprosy survivors with no or mild physical impairment differ from those of the general population. A total of 36 leprosy survivors aged 65-90 years with no or mild physical impairment were recruited. Individuals matched for sex, age, and height were selected as a control group from the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Anthropometric characteristics, body composition, appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM), modified skeletal muscle mass index (SMI), and the prevalence of obesity and sarcopenia were compared between the leprosy survivors and the control group. Compared to the control group, the leprosy survivors had higher body weight, BMI, total fat mass, and total fat percentage. The leprosy survivor group also had lower ASM (P=0.035) and SMI (P<0.001) values. Comparison of the composition of regional body parts showed that the lean body mass of the legs was lower in the leprosy survivor group even though this group had higher body weight. The leprosy survivor group also had a significantly higher prevalence of sarcopenia than the control group (38.7% vs. 5.6%; P=0.002). These findings suggest that leprosy survivors are at greater risk of developing obesity and sarcopenia than healthy individuals. Further researches are required to investigate causes and mechanisms of sarcopenia in leprosy survivors.
Year of Publication
Archives of gerontology and geriatrics
Number of Pages
Arch Gerontol Geriatr