SARC-F for screening of sarcopenia among older adults with cancer

Academic Article


  • Background: Sarcopenia is associated with adverse outcomes among older adults with cancer; however, no easily applied sarcopenia measure exists for use in clinical practice. The use of SARC-F, a 5-item self-reported sarcopenia screening questionnaire, among older adults with cancer remains to be investigated. Methods: Older adults (aged ≥60 years) with cancer enrolled in the University of Alabama Cancer and Aging Resilience Evaluation Registry were identified. Patients completed the SARC-F questionnaire (with scores ≥4 considered positive for sarcopenia). The authors assessed for differences in geriatric assessment domain impairments, health-related quality of life, and health care utilization between those with and without sarcopenia using multivariate regression, then assessed the association of sarcopenia with survival using Kaplan-Meier methods and a Cox regression model, adjusting for covariates. Results: In total, 256 older adults were identified. The median age was 69 years, 59% of participants were men, and 75% were White. The median SARC-F score was 2 (interquartile range, 0-4), and 33% of participants screened positive. Those with sarcopenia had higher odds of having multiple impairments, including impaired instrumental activities of daily living (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 18.1; 95% CI, 7.5-43.8) and frailty (aOR, 43.5; 95% CI, 17.7-106.8) as well as reduced physical and mental health-related quality of life (β coefficient, −13.6 and −11.5, respectively) and increased emergency room visits (aOR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.7). Furthermore, sarcopenia was independently associated with inferior overall survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.1-8.3; P =.04). Conclusions: One-third of older adults with cancer in this cohort screened positive for sarcopenia using the SARC-F screening questionnaire, and these positive scores are associated with geriatric assessment domain impairments, reduced health-related quality of life, increased emergency room visits, and inferior overall survival.
  • Published In

  • Cancer  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Williams GR; Al-Obaidi M; Dai C; Bhatia S; Giri S
  • Start Page

  • 1469
  • End Page

  • 1475
  • Volume

  • 127
  • Issue

  • 9