Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 2 pp 1913—1928

Dietary inflammatory potential and risk of sarcopenia: data from national health and nutrition examination surveys

Jiwen Geng1, *, , Linghui Deng2,3, *, , Shi Qiu4, *, , Haiyang Bian5, , Boyu Cai4, , Kun Jin4, , Xiaonan Zheng4, , Jiakun Li4, , Xinyang Liao4, , Yupei Li1,6, , Jiameng Li1, , Zheng Qin1, , Zhiwei Cao7, , Yige Bao4, , Baihai Su1,6, ,

  • 1 Department of Nephrology, and National Clinical Research Center for Geriatrics, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
  • 2 National Clinical Research Center of Geriatrics, The Center of Gerontology and Geriatrics, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  • 3 Department of Gerontology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
  • 4 Department of Urology, Institute of Urology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
  • 5 Institute of Reproductive and Child Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University School of Public Health, Beijing, China
  • 6 Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University, Chengdu Sichuan Province, China
  • 7 Sichuan University West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
* Equal contribution

Received: May 27, 2020       Accepted: October 9, 2020       Published: December 14, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Geng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


This study used National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys data from 1999 to 2006 to investigate the association between dietary inflammatory potential, represented by dietary inflammatory index (DII) scores, and the risk of sarcopenia in U.S. adults. A total of 25,781 participants were included in the study. The DII scores were calculated based on dietary information collected from 24-hour recalls. Men and women were classified as sarcopenic if appendicular lean mass (ALM) adjusted for BMI (ALMBMI) was <0.789 or <0.512, respectively. The covariates included comorbidities, dietary data, demographic data, and physical examination data. In a full-adjusted model, each unit of increase in DII score was associated with a 12% increase in risk of sarcopenia. When categorizing sarcopenia into tertiles, the adjusted effect size (relative to Tertile1) was 1.26 (95% CI, 1.07, 1.47) for Tertile 2 and 1.55 (95% CI, 1.31, 1.83) for Tertile 3. The trend test showed that the risk of sarcopenia increased with increasing DII tertiles, (P <0.0001). These findings demonstrate that dietary inflammatory potential correlates positively with the risk of sarcopenia and suggest that making ones diet inflammatory may reduce the incidence of sarcopenia and its associated negative health outcomes.


ALM: appendicular lean mass; ALMBMI: ALM adjusted for BMI; BMI: body mass index; CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CRP: C-reactive protein; DII: dietary inflammatory index; FNIH: the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health; IL-6: interleukin-6; LLM: low lean mass; NCHS: the National Center for Health Statistics; NHANES: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys; TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor alpha.