Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Ballentine, Hope

Committee Member/Reader

Vowell-Johnson, Kelly


Chronic conditions are the leading cause of death and disability. More specifically, cardio-metabolic disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. The tragedy and burden of disease is unrefuted; even more so, evidence indicates that realistic modifications of lifestyle can prevent most chronic disease. Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are leading risk factors in the development of cardio-metabolic disease. Presently, chronic disease is treated through symptomatic evaluation of risk. Reframing the lens of care through root cause evaluation is fundamental to optimizing patient outcomes. The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesize literature evaluating the impact of low skeletal muscle mass on the development of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in all populations. Health Source: Nursing, CINHAL and MEDLINE were systematically searched for peer-reviewed journal articles that studied generalized populations (P), and the relationship of low appendicular skeletal muscle mass (I), with a comparison of normalized or high relative appendicular skeletal muscle mass (C), on the development of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance (O) over a randomized period of time (T). Twenty peer-reviewed articles were retrieved; 16 articles were primary studies and 4 articles were systematic reviews in accordance with the PICOT objectives. The included articles referred to a demographic population of eight countries, with no constraint on sex, race or age. Consistently, across the searched literature, low appendicular skeletal muscle mass was directly correlated to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Further research is necessary to inform evidence-based practice. Healthcare professionals and their leadership hold the responsibility to advocate for positive disruption through interventional reform in treating chronic disease.


Skeletal muscle mass, sarcopenia, chronic disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance.