Systematic review and meta-analysis of lean mass and mortality: Rationale and study description

Ching-Lung Cheung, Grace Koon-Yee Lee, Philip Chun-Ming Au, Gloria Hoi-Yee Li, Marcus Chan, Hang-Long Li, 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

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Muscle mass is one of the key components in defining sarcopenia and is known to be important for locomotion and body homeostasis. Lean mass is commonly used as a surrogate of muscle mass and has been shown to be associated with increased mortality. However, the relationship of lean mass with mortality may be affected by different clinical conditions, modalities used, cut-off point to define low or normal lean mass, and even types of cancer among cancer patients. Thus, we aim to perform a comprehensive meta-analysis of lean mass with mortality by considering all these factors. Systematic search was done in PubMed, Cochrane Library and Embase for articles related to lean mass and mortality. Lean mass measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry, bioelectrical impedance analysis, and computerized tomography were included. The number of relevant studies has increased continuously since 2002. A total of 188 studies with 98 468 people were included in the meta-analysis. The association of lean mass with mortality was most studied in cancer patients, followed by people with renal diseases, liver diseases, elderly, people with cardiovascular disease, lung diseases, and other diseases. The meta-analysis can be further conducted in subgroups based on measurement modalities, site of measurements, definition of low lean mass adopted, and types of cancer for studies conducted in cancer patients. This series of meta-analysis provided insight and evidence on the relationship between lean mass and mortality in all directions, which may be useful for further study and guideline development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S3-S12
JournalOsteoporosis and Sarcopenia
Issue numberSuppl 1
Early online date11 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Lean mass
  • Sarcopenia
  • Systematic review
  • Mortality
  • Meta-analysis
  • Original


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