Prevalence and Impact of Sarcopenia in Heart Failure: A Cross-Sectional Study

Prapromporn Pinijmung1, 2, Kornanong Yuenyongchaiwat1, 3, *, Adisai Buakhamsri4
1 Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand
2 Central Chest Institute of Thailand, Nonthaburi, Thailand
3 Thammasat University Research Unit for Physical Therapy in Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand
4 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand

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© 2022 Pinijmung et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University, 99 Moo 18, Paholyothin Road, Klong Luang, Rangsit, Pathumthani, 12120, Thailand; Tel: +66 (0)29869213; Fax: +66 (0)2516-5379; E-mail:



Abnormal structure and function of cardiac muscles in heart failure (HF) may lead to decreased muscle mass and muscle strength, including low physical performance. This may play an important role in the development of sarcopenia.


The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of sarcopenia among patients with HF and to explore the association between sarcopenia and HF.


A cross-sectional study of 152 patients with HF was conducted in Thammasat University Hospital and Central Chest Institute of Thailand. Sarcopenia was defined according to the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia. Participants were requested to perform handgrip strength, gait speed, and muscle mass. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between sarcopenia occurrence and HF.


The prevalence of sarcopenia in patients with HF was 19.8% (14.0% in men and 31.1% in women). Participants with sarcopenia had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI) than those without sarcopenia (p<0.001). In addition, patients with sarcopenia had significantly lower respiratory muscle strength than those without sarcopenia (p<0.01). Sarcopenia was found to be significantly associated with age, sex, BMI, and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (p<0.05). In addition, age, sex, BMI, and LVEF predicted skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) accounted for 76.8% of the variance.


The prevalence of sarcopenia among patients with HF was similar to that reported in previous studies. Regarding risk factors, age, sex, BMI, and LVEF were related to sarcopenia in the female sex, advanced age, low BMI, and low LVEF.

Keywords: Heart failure, Sarcopenia, Left ventricular ejection fraction, Skeletal muscle dysfunction, Malnutrition, Risk factors.