Medical Terminology Quick Question


A: sarcopenia


Sarc/o/penia was first in used circa 1991. Although it is a recent term it is built from ancient word parts.

  • sarc – word root for flesh or connective tissue
  • -penia  – suffix for [abnormal] reduction

Literal Translation

The literal translation (finding the definition of a term by using the word parts) of sarcopenia is a reduction of connective tissue. Skeletal muscles are connective tissue, and since the reduction, or loss, is age-related, sarcopenia is often defined as age-related muscle loss.



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More Information

Sarcopenia begins in one’s 30’s; however, after age 50 it is a common condition that affects 10% of adults. Loss of muscle strength with sarcopenia can decrease lifespan and quality of life.

Causes and treatment

How to build muscle as age tears it down

Exploring Medical Language Edition 10, Chapter 14 Musculoskeletal System.

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