Is ambient air pollution associated with sarcopenia? Results from a nation-wide cross-sectional study

Zhihan Lai, Yin Yang, Zhengmin (Min) Qian, Michael G. Vaughn, Maya Tabet, Hualiang Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: sarcopenia is a disease that involves the degeneration of muscle strength, muscle mass and physical performance. It remains unknown whether air pollution exposure increases the risk of sarcopenia. Methods: the baseline survey of the UK Biobank was used in this study. Sarcopenia was identified according to European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2) and classified into non-sarcopenia and probable sarcopenia. Land use regressions were used to estimate concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5), coarse particles (PMcoarse), PM10, PM2.5 absorbance, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Logistic regression models were applied to estimate the associations between air pollution and sarcopenia and its components. Results: out of 352,265 participants, 28,710 (8.2%) were identified with probable sarcopenia. In adjusted models, there were increased odds of probable sarcopenia for each interquartile range increase in PM2.5 (OR: 1.06; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.07), PM10 (OR: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.17), PMcoarse (OR: 1.02; 95% CI:1.01, 1.03), PM2.5 absorbance (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.10), NO2 (OR: 1.12; 95% CI:1.10, 1.14) and NOx (OR: 1.06; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.08). Conclusions: this study suggests that exposure to ambient air pollution might be one risk factor of sarcopenia. Prospective studies are needed to further confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberafac249
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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