The devastating trio of sarcopenia, frailty, and COVID-19 - A systematic review and meta-analysis

Hadeel Halaweh
Ibrahim Ghannam
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Background & aims Sarcopenia, frailty, and COVID-19 appear to be intertwined. Preventive and intervention measures are required to break this link and mitigate the consequences of rising morbidity and mortality among older adults. This study aimed to identify and synthesize important factors related to the interaction of the devastating trio and their impact on the health and mortality of older adults. Methods Data were gathered via searches of PubMed, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, and Elsevier Mendeley Website. Study selection and data extraction were conducted by the two authors independently. The primary outcome was mortality, secondary outcomes included hospitalization and risk of development of severe disease among older Covid-19 patients. The study results are presented as adjusted odds and hazard ratios with 95% CI. Results A total of 1725 studies were identified through our electronic databases searches. After screening and assessing for eligibility, 39 studies were included in this review, a total of 51,796 patients were included in the systematic review. Our results indicated that frail patients recorded a higher mean age compared to non-frail patients (p < 0.00001), and COVID-19 frail patients had significantly increased mortality rate compared to non-frail patients, the log adjusted OR was 2.10 (1.63, 2.71); I2 = 78%; p < 0.00001. Conclusion Age and frailty are important risk factors for mortality among older adults COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 patients with sarcopenia had a higher risk of developing severe conditions, including hospitalization and ICU admission. Findings that support the use of frailty and sarcopenia indicators to help in the decision-making process for medical care in older adults COVID-19 patients.