Unifying Concepts

Diagnostic Criteria for Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia is a progressive and generalized skeletal muscle disorder that is associated with increased likelihood of adverse outcomes including falls, fractures, physical disability and mortality.

Operational Definition of Sarcopenia
Probable sarcopenia is identified by Criterion 1.
Diagnosis is confirmed by additional documentation of Criterion 2.
If Criteria 1, 2 and 3 are all met, sarcopenia is considered severe.

  1. Low muscle strength
  2. Low muscle quantity or quality
  3. Low physical performance

EWGSOP2 sarcopenia cut-off points

Test Cut-off points for men Cut-off points for women
EWGSOP2 sarcopenia cut-off points for low strength by chair stand and grip strength
Grip strength <27 kg <16 kg
Chair stand >15 s for five rises
EWGSOP2 sarcopenia cut-off points for low muscle quantity
ASM <20 kg <15 kg
ASM/height2 <7.0 kg/m2 <5.5 kg/m2
EWGSOP2 sarcopenia cut-off points for low performance
Gait speed ≤0.8 m/s
SPPB ≤8 point score
TUG ≥20 s 
400 m walk test Non-completion or ≥6 min for completion


  • EWGSOP2: European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2
  • ASM: Appendicular Skeletal Muscle Mass (the skeletal muscle mass measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry),
  • SPPB: Short Physical Performance Battery (standing balance, walking speed, and chair stand tests)
  • TUG: Timed-Up and Go test (the time that a person takes to rise from a chair, walk three meters, turn around, walk back to the chair, and sit down)



  1. Han A, Bokshan SL, Marcaccio SE, DePasse JM, Daniels AH. Diagnostic Criteria and Clinical Outcomes in Sarcopenia Research: A Literature Review. J Clin Med. 2018 Apr 8;7(4). pii: E70. [Medline]
  2. Cruz-Jentoft AJ, Bahat G, Bauer J, Boirie Y, Bruyère O, Cederholm T, Cooper C, Landi F, Rolland Y, Sayer AA, Schneider SM, Sieber CC, Topinkova E, Vandewoude M, Visser M, Zamboni M; Writing Group for the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2), and the Extended Group for EWGSOP2 . Sarcopenia: revised European consensus on definition and diagnosis. Age Ageing. 2019 Jan 1;48(1):16-31. [Medline]


Created Sep 9, 2019.

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