Geriatrics Research

During the past century, there have been dramatic improvements in life expectancy in Taiwan, with the average life span increasing from 30.0 and 32.1 years for men and women in 1908 to 76.7 and 83.2 years in 2014, respectively. As a consequence of this demographic transition, the population in Taiwan has rapidly been ageing. With the ageing of a population comes an increase in prevalence of chronic diseases and geriatric syndromes, and an expansion in healthcare costs that impose a huge burden on the whole society. Thus, it is essential to understand more about risk factors attributable to the ageing process so that effective prevention programs can be developed for the elderly.

We have devoted ourselves to collaborate with national and international researchers to initiate a longitudinal aging cohort study, “The Healthy Aging Longitudinal Study in Taiwan” (HALST), to investigate multi-dimensional factors associated with physical, neuropsychiatric, and social functions for the elderly in Taiwan. The HALST study, one of the largest ageing cohort in Asia, involves researchers from a variety of disciplines (epidemiology, biostatistics, molecular biology, psychiatry, geriatrics, and public health) across academic institutions inside and outside Taiwan. Results from the HALST study will provide information unique to Asian societies. In the first wave, 5664 community dwellers aged 55 and over, recruited from seven selected cities/counties to represent socio-demographic diversity of Taiwanese population, participated in home interviews and received comprehensive clinical examinations in hospitals (2009–2013). The second wave (2014-2017) is underway.

We have designed and conducted a series of research programs exploring the issue of ageing from multidisciplinary aspects, including molecular, genetic, cellular, clinical, epidemiological, and social-economic studies.

  • Wu IC, Hsiung CA, Chang IS, Wu MS, Chang YH, Hsu CC. Personal mastery, multisystem physiological dysregulation and risk of functional decline in older adults: A prospective study in Taiwan. Geriatrics & Gerontology international 2015; 15(6): 707-14.
  • Wu IC, Chang HY, Hsu CC, Chiu YF,…, Kuo KN, Chen CY,…, Hsiung CA*. Association between dietary fiber intake and physical performance in older adults: a nationwide study in Taiwan. PloS One 2013; 8(11): e80209.
  • Chuang SC, Chen HL, Tseng WT, Wu IC, Hsu CC,…. Hsiung CA*. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and physical performance in older adults: a nationwide study in Taiwan. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (accepted)


We have integrated all geriatric/gerontological resources and research results for continual improvement of quality of life for the elderly.

  • Wu IC, Lin CC, Hsiung CA,…,Hsu CC. Epidemiology of sarcopenia among community-dwelling older adults in Taiwan: a pooled analysis for a broader adoption of sarcopenia assessments. Geriatrics & Gerontology International 2014; 14 Suppl 1: 52-60.
  • Li CI, Li TC, Lin WY, Hsu CC, Hsiung CA,…,et al. Combined association of chronic disease and low skeletal muscle mass with physical performance in older adults in the Sarcopenia and Translational Aging Research in Taiwan (START) study. BMC Geriatrics 2015; 15: 11.
  • Chang CI, Huang KC, Chan DC, Hsiung CA, Hsu CC,…,et al. The impacts of sarcopenia and obesity on physical performance in the elderly. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice 2015; 9(3): 256-65.
  • Chang CI, Chen CY, Huang KC, Wu CH, Hsiung C, Hsu CC. Comparison of three BIA muscle indices for sarcopenia screening in old adults. European Geriatric Medicine 2013; 4(3): 145-9.


We have conducted a randomized clinical trial with Integrated Care for Geriatric Frailty and Sarcopenia. The study found that the 6-month integrated care improved frailty and sarcopenia status among community-dwelling elders, with high-intensity training yielding greater improvements.

  • Chan DC, Tsou HH, Chang CB, Yang RS, Tsauo JY, Chen CY, Hsiao CF, Hsu YT, Chen CH, Chang SF, Hsiung CA*, Kuo KN*. (2016). Integrated Care for Geriatric Frailty and Sarcopenia: a Randomized Control Trial. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle. In press.