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

Diana G. Taekema*, Jacobijn Gussekloo, Andrea B. Maier, Rudi G J Westendorp, Anton J M de Craen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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. 331 D. G. Taekema et al. 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, elec- trocardiogram 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 ≤ 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberafq022
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Disability
  • Elderly
  • Handgrip strength
  • Health
  • Sarcopenia

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