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Body mass index, muscle strength and physical performance in older adults from eight cohort studies: the HALCyon programme

Body mass index, muscle strength and physical performance in older adults from eight cohort studies: the HALCyon programme
Body mass index, muscle strength and physical performance in older adults from eight cohort studies: the HALCyon programme
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations of body mass index (BMI) and grip strength with objective measures of physical performance (chair rise time, walking speed and balance) including an assessment of sex differences and non-linearity.

METHODS: Cross-sectional data from eight UK cohort studies (total N = 16,444) participating in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) research programme, ranging in age from 50 to 90+ years at the time of physical capability assessment, were used. Regression models were fitted within each study and meta-analysis methods used to pool regression coefficients across studies and to assess the extent of heterogeneity between studies.

RESULTS: Higher BMI was associated with poorer performance on chair rise (N = 10,773), walking speed (N = 9,761) and standing balance (N = 13,921) tests. Higher BMI was associated with stronger grip strength in men only. Stronger grip strength was associated with better performance on all tests with a tendency for the associations to be stronger in women than men; for example, walking speed was higher by 0.43 cm/s (0.14, 0.71) more per kg in women than men. Both BMI and grip strength remained independently related with performance after mutual adjustment, but there was no evidence of effect modification. Both BMI and grip strength exhibited non-linear relations with performance; those in the lowest fifth of grip strength and highest fifth of BMI having particularly poor performance. Findings were similar when waist circumference was examined in place of BMI.

CONCLUSION: Older men and women with weak muscle strength and high BMI have considerably poorer performance than others and associations were observed even in the youngest cohort (age 53). Although causality cannot be inferred from observational cross-sectional studies, our findings suggest the likely benefit of early assessment and interventions to reduce fat mass and improve muscle strength in the prevention of future functional limitations.
1932-6203
e56483
Hardy, Rebecca
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Cooper, Rachel
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Aihie Sayer, Avan
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Ben-Shlomo, Yoav
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Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Demakakos, Panayotes
ffd95605-941f-45fe-85cb-d96253540659
Gallacher, John
a92ca535-75e3-488a-9890-255212b0328d
Martin, Richard M.
ce5c4184-4432-4435-bd1e-221f665d42d8
McNeill, Geraldine
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Starr, John M.
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Steptoe, Andrew
aadc4799-ddd7-4013-a8c9-c37ec87f23c3
Syddall, Holly
a0181a93-8fc3-4998-a996-7963f0128328
Kuh, Diana
4f3b51aa-21a0-4d68-be14-e1ed75448aaf
Hardy, Rebecca
99fecbaf-fc92-4354-aa02-cb904dd2bd32
Cooper, Rachel
24a4a55a-ccc1-4961-9b76-b89aa4eb2fdf
Aihie Sayer, Avan
fb4c2053-6d51-4fc1-9489-c3cb431b0ffb
Ben-Shlomo, Yoav
df80bd02-a908-4296-b293-825d42203729
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Demakakos, Panayotes
ffd95605-941f-45fe-85cb-d96253540659
Gallacher, John
a92ca535-75e3-488a-9890-255212b0328d
Martin, Richard M.
ce5c4184-4432-4435-bd1e-221f665d42d8
McNeill, Geraldine
333f1da6-57dd-4877-aba3-c33293364661
Starr, John M.
92fc6cf8-b0f7-47dc-93d8-8fd246d40585
Steptoe, Andrew
aadc4799-ddd7-4013-a8c9-c37ec87f23c3
Syddall, Holly
a0181a93-8fc3-4998-a996-7963f0128328
Kuh, Diana
4f3b51aa-21a0-4d68-be14-e1ed75448aaf

Hardy, Rebecca, Cooper, Rachel, Aihie Sayer, Avan, Ben-Shlomo, Yoav, Cooper, Cyrus, Deary, Ian J., Demakakos, Panayotes, Gallacher, John, Martin, Richard M., McNeill, Geraldine, Starr, John M., Steptoe, Andrew, Syddall, Holly and Kuh, Diana (2013) Body mass index, muscle strength and physical performance in older adults from eight cohort studies: the HALCyon programme. PLoS ONE, 8 (2), e56483. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056483). (PMID:23437142)

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations of body mass index (BMI) and grip strength with objective measures of physical performance (chair rise time, walking speed and balance) including an assessment of sex differences and non-linearity.

METHODS: Cross-sectional data from eight UK cohort studies (total N = 16,444) participating in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) research programme, ranging in age from 50 to 90+ years at the time of physical capability assessment, were used. Regression models were fitted within each study and meta-analysis methods used to pool regression coefficients across studies and to assess the extent of heterogeneity between studies.

RESULTS: Higher BMI was associated with poorer performance on chair rise (N = 10,773), walking speed (N = 9,761) and standing balance (N = 13,921) tests. Higher BMI was associated with stronger grip strength in men only. Stronger grip strength was associated with better performance on all tests with a tendency for the associations to be stronger in women than men; for example, walking speed was higher by 0.43 cm/s (0.14, 0.71) more per kg in women than men. Both BMI and grip strength remained independently related with performance after mutual adjustment, but there was no evidence of effect modification. Both BMI and grip strength exhibited non-linear relations with performance; those in the lowest fifth of grip strength and highest fifth of BMI having particularly poor performance. Findings were similar when waist circumference was examined in place of BMI.

CONCLUSION: Older men and women with weak muscle strength and high BMI have considerably poorer performance than others and associations were observed even in the youngest cohort (age 53). Although causality cannot be inferred from observational cross-sectional studies, our findings suggest the likely benefit of early assessment and interventions to reduce fat mass and improve muscle strength in the prevention of future functional limitations.

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Published date: 20 February 2013
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

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Local EPrints ID: 352670
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/352670
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 9f6c30a3-37b1-4d1d-ab27-d8f621977faa
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for Holly Syddall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0171-0306

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Date deposited: 16 May 2013 15:28
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:56

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Contributors

Author: Rebecca Hardy
Author: Rachel Cooper
Author: Avan Aihie Sayer
Author: Yoav Ben-Shlomo
Author: Cyrus Cooper ORCID iD
Author: Ian J. Deary
Author: Panayotes Demakakos
Author: John Gallacher
Author: Richard M. Martin
Author: Geraldine McNeill
Author: John M. Starr
Author: Andrew Steptoe
Author: Holly Syddall ORCID iD
Author: Diana Kuh

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