Sarcopenia and rheumatoid arthritis


  • V.V. Povoroznyuk MD, PhD, Professor, Head of the Department of clinical physiology and pathology of locomotor apparatus, State Institution “D.F. Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology of the NAMS of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine, e-mail:
  • N.I. Dzerovych MD, PhD, Leading Research Fellow at the Department of clinical physiology and pathology of locomotor apparatus, State Institution “D.F. Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology of the NAMS of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine; e-mail:
  • O.S. Ivanyk doctor-rheumatologist, Lviv regional hospital, Lviv, Ukraine; e-mail:
  • T.A. Karasevska PhD, Associate Professor at the Department of internal medicine 2, Bogomolets National Medical University, Kyiv, Ukraine; e-mail:



sarcopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, bone mineral density, lean mass


Background. Nowadays in the field of syndromes and diseases associated with age, scientists focus especial attention on the problem of sarcopenia, which combines an increased risk of falls, deterioration of life quality, impaired functional activity, reduced life expectancy and increased mortality of patients. In 2016, sarcopenia has been included in the Internatio­nal Classification of Diseases. There are the primary and secon­dary forms of sarcopenia. This article presents the reference data and results of our own studies on sarcopenia in the rheumatoid arthritis patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the bone mineral density, lean mass and frequency of pre­scarcopenia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Materials and me­thods. 461 women aged 40–87 years (age 57.17 ± 0.71 years) were exa­mined, among them 71 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 390 controls. We conducted the clinical and laboratory exa­mination (erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C­reactive protein level in serum). Pain intensity was evaluated by the visual analogue scale, the quality of life – by the HAQ questionnaire. Lean mass, bone mineral density were measured by the X­ray absorptiometry (Prodigy, GEHC Lunar, Madison, WI, USA). Pre­sarcopenia (first stage of sarcopenia) was determined when an appendicular lean mass index was less than 5.72 kg/m2 (V.V. Povoroznyuk, N.I. Dzerovich, 2016). Statistical analysis was conducted using the "Statistica 6.0" software. Results. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis had a significantly lower femoral neck mineral density (p = 0.002), lean mass of the total body (p = 0.01) and appendicular lean mass (p < 0.01). The frequency of pre­sarcopenia in women with rheumatoid arthritis was 49 %, in the control group — 18 %. Conclusions. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis had not only bone tissue, but also skeletal muscle tissue disorders, resulting in a significant deterioration of functional capacity and quality of life. Given the significant medical and social significance of the problem, further studies into the mechanisms of pathogenesis, development of diagnostic methods, prevention and treatment of sarcopenia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis are required.


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How to Cite

Povoroznyuk, V., Dzerovych, N., Ivanyk, O., & Karasevska, T. (2021). Sarcopenia and rheumatoid arthritis. PAIN, JOINTS, SPINE, 9(2), 83–89.



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