Circulating irisin levels as a predictive biomarker for sarcopenia: A cross-sectional community-based study

Jae Seung Chang, Tae Ho Kim, Tuyet Thi Nguyen, Kyu Sang Park, Nahyun Kim, In Deok Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Myokines are peptides released by the skeletal muscle, and have gained popularity as potential biomarkers for sarcopenia. Irisin is a recently identified myokine, but its role in pathological sarcopenia remains unclear. We investigated the validity and accuracy of circulating irisin levels as a potential biomarker for sarcopenia. Methods: We evaluated the anthropometrics, body composition, sarcopenia-related parameters and serum irisin levels of 715 community-dwelling Koreans. Sarcopenia was determined on the basis of the clinical diagnostic criteria of muscle atrophy and weakness, which were proposed by the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia. Results: Circulating irisin levels were correlated with appendicular lean mass/height 2 (r men = 0.275; r women = 0.321) and handgrip strength (r men = 0.219; r women = 0.312) in both sexes (all P < 0.01). Furthermore, the mean circulating irisin levels were lower in the sarcopenia group than in the normal group (all P < 0.05). In the logistic regression models, the association between serum irisin concentration and incident sarcopenia persisted even after adjusting for potential confounders, such as sex, age and fat indices (odds ratio 0.20, 95% CI 0.07–0.60; P for trend <0.01). The predictive values of serum irisin for sarcopenia were <1.0 μg/mL in men and <1.16 μg/mL in women, with the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves of 0.87 (95% CI 0.77–0.99) and 0.68 (95% CI 0.55–0.81), respectively (all P < 0.01). Conclusions: A low level of circulating irisin is a sensitive marker for muscle weakness and atrophy. Irisin is a potential biomarker for muscle dysfunction that could help predict the onset of sarcopenia and provide new avenues for monitoring age-related muscle changes. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; 17: 2266–2273.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2266-2273
Number of pages8
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge Eun Ju Kim for her invaluable help with the data collection. This study was supported by a research grant from Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine (YUWCM-2013-24). JSC designed the study, analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. THK carried out the data collection. TTN, KSP, and NK carried out the data interpretation and revised the manuscript. IDK designed the study, interpreted the data and revised the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors Geriatrics & Gerontology International published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japan Geriatrics Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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