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What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is a disease that is associated with aging. It causes a progressive loss of muscle mass and function. Symptoms include physical slowness and weakness with or without body weight loss. Onset of this disease process can start as early as your mid-forties. It can affect up to 30% of people above the age of 60 years.

What are the ill effects of Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia can cause

  • Weakness, slowness, poor balance
  • Middle age weight gain and diabetes
  • Weak bones (Osteoporosis)
  • Repeated falls
  • Loss of independence

What are the causes of Sarcopenia?

Researchers believe that Sarcopenia is caused by the interaction of multiple factors that are commonly seen with aging:

  • Chronic inflammation
  • Hormonal changes
  • Motor neuron loss
  • Altered protein metabolism

What else can cause muscle loss?

There are many examples of common chronic diseases that can cause muscle loss similar to Sarcopenia; however, Sarcopenia could be the cause of muscle loss if you do NOT have any of these:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer

JHAH’s Dhahran geriatric care team is pleased to announce the opening of the Sarcopenia Clinic.

Clinic services include:

  • Diagnosing Sarcopenia in individuals above the age of 50
  • Assessing nutrition and analyzing body composition
  • Providing health education (nutritional and exercise plans)
  • Follow-up on patient progress.

If you are between 50-70 years of age and interested in early detection and prevention, make an appointment with the Sarcopenia Clinic at the Main Reception in the Dhahran Primary Care, Building 50.

You can also schedule an appointment by calling the Centralized Contact Center (CCC) at 800-305-4444 if you are in Kingdom or +966-13-877-3888 if you are out of the Kingdom.

Who is at risk?

  • Older individuals
  • Persons engaging in minimal or no physical activities
  • Persons consuming a poor quality diet

How is Sarcopenia diagnosed?

The following criteria have to be met to make a diagnosis of Sarcopenia:

  • Slow walking speed
  • Weak hand grip
  • Low muscle mass measured by bio-electrical impedance analysis or dual-energy X-ray (DXA)

Can Sarcopenia be cured?

Currently there is no cure for this condition. Scientific research is being conducted.

How can Sarcopenia be prevented?

Progression of this condition has been shown to be halted by certain exercise programs, a well-balanced and nutritious diet and nutritional supplements. Early detection and intervention can significantly delay the onset in older persons.

How can the JHAH Sarcopenia Clinic benefit me?

  • Early diagnosis
  • Effective exercise plans
  • Dietary plans
  • Follow up on plans and monitoring of the progression of the disease

How can I schedule an appointment with the JHAH Sarcopenia Clinic?

If you are between 50-70 years of age and interested in early detection and prevention, make an appointment with the Sarcopenia Clinic at the Main Reception in Primary Care Building 50.

You can also schedule an appointment by calling the Centralized Contact Center (CCC) at 800-305-4444 if you are in Kingdom or +966-13-877-3888 if you are out of the Kingdom. This automated, telephone-based system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What can I expect at my initial visit?

A gerontology nurse will assess:

  • Your weight, height and body mass index
  • Your walking speed
  • Your Hand Grip Strength (HGS using a dynamometer)
  • Review your medical history

Individuals with normal walking speed and HGS will be discharged at this stage.If these tests are not normal, your assessment will continue with the following:

  • Review your medical history
  • Review your current medications
  • Conduct a physical examination
  • Order certain tests (if necessary)
  • Assess your physical activity level
  • Work with you to implement an effective exercise plan that is specific to your fitness level and capabilities

A nutritionist will:

  • Perform a nutrition assessment to identify any nutritional problems and develop a plan to address them
  • Measure your body composition (proportion of body fat and lean mass)
  • You will be given an appointment with Radiology for a DXA examination.

How frequent are follow ups?

You will be given a follow-up appointment every six months.