J Korean Med Sci.  2016 Apr;31(4):604-610. 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.4.604.

Body Composition, Sarcopenia, and Suicidal Ideation in Elderly Koreans: Hallym Aging Study

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea. pyongs@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 3Hallym Research Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.


This study was conducted to assess the relationship between body composition and suicidal ideation among the Korean elderly population (n = 302; ≥ 65 years) who participated in the Hallym Aging Study in 2010. Body composition was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and obesity was measured by the indices of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and body fat percentage. Sarcopenia was defined as presence of both low muscle mass and low muscle function. Suicidal ideation was assessed using the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation. We found no differences in body composition measures between subjects with suicidal ideation and those without. In the logistic regression analyses, there were no significant relationships for suicidal ideation according to body composition measures, including BMI, WC, WHR, WHtR, and body fat percentage in both sexes. After adjusting for age, smoking status, alcohol drinking, regular exercise, medical comorbidities, monthly income, education level, and presence of depressive symptoms, the odds ratio (OR) of suicidal ideation was higher in elderly men with sarcopenia compared to those without, whereas no significant relationships were observed in elderly women (OR 8.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-61.34 in men; OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.07-8.43 in women). Sarcopenia is closely associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation in elderly men.


Suicide; Suicidal Ideation; Sarcopenia; Obesity; Elderly; Korean

MeSH Terms

Asian Continental Ancestry Group
*Body Composition
Body Height
Body Mass Index
Logistic Models
Odds Ratio
Republic of Korea
*Suicidal Ideation
Waist Circumference
Waist-Hip Ratio
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