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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Jan;67(1):66-73. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr055. Epub 2011 May 5.

Absolute strength and loss of strength as predictors of mobility decline in older adults: the InCHIANTI study.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA. ghicks@udel.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Theoretical definitions of sarcopenia traditionally emphasize age-related loss of muscle strength; however, most analyses of the association between strength and mobility examine strength at a single time point. This study sought to identify sex-specific cutpoints for muscle strength and power (at one time point) and 3-year changes in strength and power that would maximize prediction of 3-year mobility decline.

METHODS:

Longitudinal analysis of 934 adults aged ≥65 years enrolled in the Invecchiare in Chianti study was conducted. Grip strength, knee extension strength, and lower extremity power were measured at baseline and 3 years postenrollment. Mobility function (gait speed and self-reported mobility disability) was measured at 3 and 6 years postenrollment. Classification and regression tree analysis was used to predict mobility decline from Years 3 to 6.

RESULTS:

Men with knee extension strength <19.2 kg and grip strength <39.0 kg had clinically meaningful declines in gait speed of .24 m/s. Furthermore, men with power <105 W were nearly nine times more likely to develop incident mobility disability (likelihood ratio = 8.68; 95% confidence interval = 3.91, 19.44). Among women, knee extension strength <18.0 kg was associated with a minimal gait speed decline of 0.06 m/s, and women with leg power <64 W were three times more likely to develop incident mobility disability (likelihood ratio = 3.01; 95% confidence interval = 1.79, 5.08). Three-year changes in strength and power did not predict mobility decline in either sex.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest that strength and power measured at one time point are more predictive of mobility decline than 3-year changes and that low strength and power are particularly powerful risk factors in men.

PMID:
21546582
PMCID:
PMC3260485
DOI:
10.1093/gerona/glr055
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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