Calf circumference: clinical validation for evaluation of muscle mass in the elderly

ABSTRACT Objective: To validate calf circumference as a technology for assessing muscle mass in the elderly. Method: Cross-sectional study with 132 elderly people from Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. Decreased muscle mass was determined by the skeletal muscle mass index (IME) using Dual Energy X-Ray Absortometry (DEXA). The cutoff circumferences (CC) cutoff points to indicate muscle mass decrease were estimated by ROC curve, sensitivity, specificity and accuracy. Results: The most accurate cut-off points for detecting decreased muscle mass in the elderly were 34 cm for men (sensitivity: 71.5%, specificity: 77.4%) and 33 cm for women (sensitivity: 80.0%; specificity: 84.6%). Conclusion: CC can be used as a measure for early identification of muscle mass decrease in routine evaluations of the elderly in primary care.