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Age Ageing. 2010 May;39(3):331-7. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afq022. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Handgrip strength as a predictor of functional, psychological and social health. A prospective population-based study among the oldest old.

Author information

1
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. d.g.taekema@lumc.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

muscle wasting is associated with a detrimental outcome in older people. Muscle strength measurements could be useful as part of a clinical evaluation of oldest old patients to determine who are most at risk of accelerated decline in the near future.

OBJECTIVE:

this study aimed to assess if handgrip strength predicts changes in functional, psychological and social health among oldest old.

DESIGN:

the Leiden 85-plus Study is a prospective population-based follow-up study.

SUBJECTS:

five-hundred fifty-five, all aged 85 years at baseline, participated in the study.

METHODS:

handgrip strength was measured with a handgrip strength dynamometer. Functional, psychological and social health were assessed annually. Baseline data on chronic diseases were obtained from the treating physician, pharmacist, electrocardiogram and blood sample analysis.

RESULTS:

at age 85, lower handgrip strength was correlated with poorer scores in functional, psychological and social health domains (all, P < 0.001). Lower baseline handgrip strength predicted an accelerated decline in activities of daily living (ADL) and cognition (both, P <or= 0.001), but not in social health (P > 0.30).

CONCLUSION:

poor handgrip strength predicts accelerated dependency in ADL and cognitive decline in oldest old. Measuring handgrip strength could be a useful instrument in geriatric practice to identify those oldest old patients at risk for this accelerated decline.

PMID:
20219767
DOI:
10.1093/ageing/afq022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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