Sarcopenia is a complex and multifactorial geriatric condition seen in several chronic degenerative diseases. This study aimed to screen for sarcopenia and fall risk in a sample of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and to investigate demographic and clinical factors associated.
This is a cross-sectional study. We evaluated 218 PD patients at the Movement Disorders Clinic in Fortaleza, Brazil, and collected clinical data including experiencing falls in the six months prior to their medical visit. Probable sarcopenia diagnosis was confirmed by using a sarcopenia screening tool (SARC-F questionnaire) and the presence of low muscle strength.
One hundred and twenty-one patients (55.5%) were screened positive for sarcopenia using the SARC-F and 103 (47.4%) met the criteria for probable sarcopenia. Disease duration, modified Hoehn and Yahr stage, Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living Scale score, levodopa equivalent dose, probable sarcopenia and positive SARC-F screening were all associated with experiencing falls. Disease duration, lower quality of life and female gender were independently associated with sarcopenia. Experiencing falls was significantly more frequent among patients screened positive in the SARC-F compared to those screened negative.
Sarcopenia and PD share common pathways and may affect each other’s prognosis and patients’ quality of life. Since sarcopenia is associated with lower quality of life and increased risk of falls, active case finding, diagnosis and proper management of sarcopenia in PD patients is essential.