Infuse Issue 14 October 2021 - Page 13

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Frailty , falls and fractures : the three Fs of geriatric medicine

Nutrition and geriatric medicine are closely interlinked . DC ’ s Jane Winter recently sat down with Professor Gustavo Duque to explore the interplay between muscle , bone and nutrition in older people , and the impact this matrix has on frailty , falls and fractures .

PROFESSOR GUSTAVO DUQUE
is a geriatrician and a clinical and biomedical researcher with a particular interest in the mechanisms and treatment of osteoporosis , sarcopenia and frailty in older persons .
Why is having a fall so problematic for an older person ?
Falls are major events that can have a serious impact , not just directly from the trauma or lesion , but psychologically , too . After a fall , independence and quality of life can deteriorate due to fear of falling . Older people can lose interest in their daily activities or their hobbies , and some even stop eating or reduce their intake dramatically . So , it ’ s imperative to prevent falls .
What is sarcopenia and how is it connected to osteoporosis ?
Up until recently , the focus for older people was on maintaining healthy bones , not muscles – muscle loss was just considered a normal part of ageing . Relatively recent research into muscle loss with age , however , has identified a condition called ‘ sarcopenia ’, which is the loss of muscle mass along with the loss of muscle function and strength . This is not a normal part of ageing . It is a disease that we can now identify and treat in clinical practice .
© Dietitian Connection 13 Infuse | October 2021