Frailty and Aging
Educate and engage patients with sarcopenia
Body composition is essential for understanding a patient’s makeup of muscle and fat and how this information drives health and disease risk. Deeper insight into body composition balance helps with guiding treatments and targeting specific areas for improvement to reverse or prevent functional impairment, sarcopenia and frailty. InBody devices are non-invasive and convenient, making it the ideal tool to implement into prevention and treatment programs. The InBody test provides comprehensive results that can be used to educate and engage patients about their health and risk for injury due to low muscle mass.
Why is body composition analysis an effective tool in treating sarcopenia and frailty?
In less than 60 seconds, the InBody Test provides easy-to-understand, accurate and objective measurements to evaluate the patient’s current skeletal muscle mass and determine risk of sarcopenia or frailty. Physicians can use the InBody to:
- Identify areas weakened through muscle loss that increase risk of health complications or falls
- Assess muscle mass to determine muscle loss and regain through rehabilitation programs
- Quantify health risk through the evaluation of body fat distribution
- Track fluid imbalances related to loss of muscle mass, edema, or inflammation.
Identify risk of sarcopenia and decreased mobility
As we age, our bodies start to lose muscle mass; as more sedentary behavior is adopted, this rate of loss increases, exacerbating age-related risk of injury. However, identifying these age-related changes in muscle and how they relate to frailty risk are difficult to identify and track.
By accurately measuring fat-free mass in each segment of the body, Skeletal Muscle Index (SMI) easily identifies muscle mass and frailty risk.
Sarcopenia and frailty hinder the elderly population, affecting mortality, cognitive function, and quality of life. As the population continues to live longer, preservation of lean mass becomes an integral part of maintaining one’s independence and quality of life. Loss of muscle in the arms and legs is associated with reductions in mobility, increased risk of falls and frailty, and prolonged length of hospital stay. Falls and fractures frequently result in a cycle of muscle deterioration that negatively impacts patients’ physical function and independence. Using a noninvasive tool to track body composition changes, patients can be placed under close surveillance to minimize muscle wasting and risk of impaired mobility. Furthermore, assessing skeletal muscle mass in outpatient and hospital settings can decrease these debilitating outcomes before they occur.
InBody provides a quick, easy to perform test that provides a calculation for skeletal muscle index (SMI), the sum of the lean mass in the arms and legs, normalized for height. This marker is useful in identifying low muscle in the appendages, which increases frailty risk. The ease of performing the InBody test provides physicians with more time to work with and educate patients on adopting lifestyle changes to help prevent sarcopenia and loss of independence.
Assess sarcopenic obesity and disease risk
Tracking changes in weight is a poor method for monitoring disease risk or changes in health status with aging. Sarcopenia increases sedentary behavior in elderly populations, thus increasing risk of weight gain and obesity. As muscle mass continues to decline, patients may develop sarcopenic obesity; however, this cannot be detected using BMI as the loss of muscle may be masked by fat gain. InBody provides accurate measures of body composition, including muscle-fat balance, percent body fat and visceral fat, allowing physicians to better track physiological changes in their patients both inside and outside the hospital setting. This in-depth analysis provides an edge for identifying health risks and preventing progression to chronic diseases associated with muscle-fat imbalances.
In aging populations, lifestyle patterns shift, physical activity is reduced, and poor dietary habits can result in both muscle loss and fat gain. Weight may remain stable as these body composition changes occur, making it difficult to track changes in health status using weight or BMI. Indeed, as sedentary behavior persists over time, the continuous loss of muscle and gain of fat results in a severe muscle-fat imbalance, a condition known as sarcopenic obesity. This phenomenon combines the adverse effects of both sarcopenia and obesity, significantly increasing long-term health risk and risk of mortality; however, this cannot be adequately reflected by BMI. Instead, monitoring the balance between muscle and fat as well as percent body fat (PBF) can help identify the patient’s current health status to guide clinical recommendations. Furthermore, targeted treatments for muscle maintenance or improvement, as well as reductions in body fat, can improve patient outcomes and preserve physical function with age.
In addition to muscle-fat balance and PBF, it is important to monitor fat distribution. Visceral fat comprises the fat located in the abdominal region, surrounding and protecting vital organs. It is metabolically active and increased visceral fat storage has been associated with a variety of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. With a comprehensive evaluation of body composition, including muscle mass and fat distribution, physicians can track physiological changes in their patients and appropriately assess related health risks for prevention and earlier intervention.
Assess if changes in ECW/TBW are a result of decreased muscle mass and low intracellular water
Traditional body composition methods do not provide fluid values that can be linked with disease status, metabolic conditions or muscle loss. InBody provides objective and precise measures of body water to detect water retention to help guide physician assessment and treatment.
InBody effectively distinguishes water in the intracellular (ICW; within the tissues) and extracellular (ECW; within the blood and interstitial fluids) water compartments that comprise total body water. The Edema Index, based on the ratio between ECW and TBW (ECW/TBW), can be used to detect fluid imbalances resulting from loss of muscle mass, disease, or metabolic conditions.
Muscle wasting leads to water losses from the intracellular compartment. This loss of water often occurs without a change in extracellular water, causing the Edema Index to increase. This fluid imbalance can negatively impact cardiac function and lead to poorer health outcomes. On the other hand, an increase in ECW/TBW can also occur independently from muscle loss due to conditions such as metabolic disease, renal, and heart failure. Understanding the cause of the increase in the Edema Index can aid medical professionals in providing more specific a guided treatment options for each patient and reduce the negative impact on disease risk or progression.
Monitor sarcopenia, disease risk and operative outcomes
Muscle mass plays an integral role in the health of clients before, during, and after surgery. Assessing muscle mass can identify surgical risk, predict perioperative complications, and identify adverse changes following surgical procedures.
By not screening for signs of sarcopenia, patients who undergo elective or non-elective surgery may be at increased risk of negative health outcomes. This is because muscle plays an important role in the prevention of insulin resistance as a response to injury or stress. Those with low muscle mass increase their risk for surgical complications due to the response of the body to release protein stores during these times to stimulate recovery and tissue healing. A lower amount of tissue stores can significantly increase the risk of these complications and even predict perioperative complications.
Additionally, low muscle mass has also been associated with post-operative complications as the body continues to utilize protein stores to speed recovery. Monitoring these losses in muscle can help provide earlier interventions and support a faster recovery time while minimizing muscle loss over time.
The InBody test can identify and track muscle deficiencies or loss of muscle mass during the recovery period. By understanding the patient’s body composition prior to surgery, medical professionals can lower risks of surgical complications or even recommend increases in muscle mass prior to specific surgical procedures. Understanding the changes in body composition resulting from surgery and post-surgical recovery can also help mitigate risk of insulin resistance and prevent significant muscle losses leading to frailty or loss of immobility.