Different definition of sarcopenia and mortality in cancer: A meta-analysis

Hang-Long Li, Philip Chun-Ming Au, Grace Koon-Yee Lee, Gloria Hoi-Yee Li, Marcus Chan, Bernard Man-Yung Cheung, Ian Chi-Kei Wong, Victor Ho-Fun Lee, James Mok, Benjamin Hon-Kei Yip, Kenneth King-Yip Cheng, Chih-Hsing Wu, Ching-Lung Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Sarcopenia has been an emerging theme in clinical oncology. Various definitions of sarcopenia have been proposed, but their prognostic performance have yet to be evaluated and compared. The aim of this meta-analysis is to comprehensively evaluate the performance of different cutoff definitions of sarcopenia in cancer mortality prognostication. This is a meta-analysis. Cohort studies on lean mass and mortality published before December 20, 2017 were obtained by systematic search on PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase. Inclusion criteria were cohort studies reporting binary lean mass categorized according to clearly defined cutoffs, and with all-cause mortality as study outcome. Studies were stratified according to the cutoff(s) used in defining low lean mass. The cutoff-specific hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of low lean mass on cancer mortality were pooled with a random-effects model and compared. Altogether 81 studies that studied binary lean mass were included. The pooled HRs on cancer mortality using the 3 most used definitions were: 1.74 (95% CI, 1.46-2.07) using the definition proposed by International Consensus of Cancer Cachexia, 1.45 (95% CI, 1.21-1.75) using that by Martin, and 1.58 (95% CI, 1.35-1.84) using that by Prado. The associations between sarcopenia and cancer mortality using other definitions were all statistically significant, despite different estimates were observed. The association of low lean mass with increased mortality was consistent across different definitions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S34-S38
JournalOsteoporosis and Sarcopenia
Issue numberSuppl 1
Early online date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Sarcopenia
  • Lean mass
  • Original
  • Mortality
  • Cancer
  • Meta-analysis


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