Sarcopenic obesity is associated with lower indicators of psychological health and quality of life in Koreans

Yoonsu Cho, So Youn Shin, Min Jeong Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Sarcopenic obesity (SO) is known to contribute to morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases. However, there exists limited information regarding its effect on psychological health. The aim of this study was to evaluate association of SO with several indices of psychological health and quality of life (QoL) in Korean adults. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 11. 521 participants older than 20 years from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008-2011. Sarcopenic obesity was defined by a low appendicular skeletal muscle mass divided by body weight less than 1 standard deviation below the sex-specific mean for the young reference group, and by a high waist circumference of at least 90 cm for men and at least 85 cm for women. Psychological health status, including depressive symptoms, perceived stress, and suicidal ideation, as well as QoL, was assessed by a self-reporting questionnaire. Association between SO and psychological health status was assessed under a logistic regression model. After multivariate adjustment for demographics and lifestyle factors, SO was significantly associated with perceived stress (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.44; P value = .004) and suicidal ideation (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.50; P value = .010). In addition, SO was found to have a negative association with a range of QoL indicators. Interestingly, these association patterns were more significant in participants younger than 60 years. In conclusion, our results suggest that SO was associated with adverse psychological health and lower QoL more than body mass index-based general obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1


  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Psychological health
  • Quality of life
  • Sarcopenic obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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