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Handgrip strength in old and oldest old Swiss adults – a cross-sectional study

Handgrip strength in old and oldest old Swiss adults – a cross-sectional study
Handgrip strength in old and oldest old Swiss adults – a cross-sectional study
Background: Handgrip strength is indicative of overall physical health and mobility in the elderly. A reduction in strength below a certain threshold severely increases the risk of mobility limitations and is predictive for adverse outcomes such as dependence in daily activities and mortality. An overview of age- and geography- specific handgrip strength values in older adults provide a reference for further investigations and measures in clinical practice to identify people at risk for clinically meaningful weakness. The aim of this study was to evaluate handgrip strength in the Swiss-German population aged 75 and over. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, maximal isometric handgrip strength of the dominant hand was evaluated in 244 Swiss people aged 75 years and over (62.7% women), with mean age (SD) of 84.5 (5.6) years in men and 83.1 (5.9) years in women. Demographic data and information about comorbidities, medication, fall history, global cognitive function, self-reported physical activity and dependence in activities of daily living were collected, and correlated with grip strength measures. Age- and gender specific grip strength values are reported as means, standard deviations and standard error of mean. Results: Sex-stratified handgrip strength was significantly lower with advancing age in men (p < .01), from 37.7 (6.5) kg to 25.6 (7.6) kg and in women (p < .01) from 22.2 (4.0) kg to 16.5 (4.7) kg. Handgrip strength in our sample was significantly higher than in Southern European countries. Handgrip strength was independently associated with age, height and ADL dependence in men and women. Overall, 44% of men and 53% of women had handgrip strength measures that were below the clinically relevant threshold for mobility limitations. Conclusion: This study reports the age- and sex-stratified reference values for handgrip strength in a representative sample of the Swiss population, aged 75–99 years. Although grip strength decreased with advancing age in both sexes; the relative decline was greater in men than women. Nonetheless men had significantly higher grip strength in all age groups. While the Swiss population sampled had greater grip strength than that reported in other European countries, about 50% were still classified as at risk of mobility limitations.
1471-2318
Wearing, Julia
c6369cbb-9c3b-49bc-8e26-ba2b9f01a641
Konings, Peter
6fe9d219-e5f6-4d9c-84a0-964453f1ebfa
Stokes, Maria
71730503-70ce-4e67-b7ea-a3e54579717f
de Bruin, Eling D.
ef1b0e21-df75-4b74-b324-81864391d369
Wearing, Julia
c6369cbb-9c3b-49bc-8e26-ba2b9f01a641
Konings, Peter
6fe9d219-e5f6-4d9c-84a0-964453f1ebfa
Stokes, Maria
71730503-70ce-4e67-b7ea-a3e54579717f
de Bruin, Eling D.
ef1b0e21-df75-4b74-b324-81864391d369

Wearing, Julia, Konings, Peter, Stokes, Maria and de Bruin, Eling D. (2018) Handgrip strength in old and oldest old Swiss adults – a cross-sectional study. BMC Geriatrics, 18, [266]. (doi:10.1186/s12877-018-0959-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Handgrip strength is indicative of overall physical health and mobility in the elderly. A reduction in strength below a certain threshold severely increases the risk of mobility limitations and is predictive for adverse outcomes such as dependence in daily activities and mortality. An overview of age- and geography- specific handgrip strength values in older adults provide a reference for further investigations and measures in clinical practice to identify people at risk for clinically meaningful weakness. The aim of this study was to evaluate handgrip strength in the Swiss-German population aged 75 and over. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, maximal isometric handgrip strength of the dominant hand was evaluated in 244 Swiss people aged 75 years and over (62.7% women), with mean age (SD) of 84.5 (5.6) years in men and 83.1 (5.9) years in women. Demographic data and information about comorbidities, medication, fall history, global cognitive function, self-reported physical activity and dependence in activities of daily living were collected, and correlated with grip strength measures. Age- and gender specific grip strength values are reported as means, standard deviations and standard error of mean. Results: Sex-stratified handgrip strength was significantly lower with advancing age in men (p < .01), from 37.7 (6.5) kg to 25.6 (7.6) kg and in women (p < .01) from 22.2 (4.0) kg to 16.5 (4.7) kg. Handgrip strength in our sample was significantly higher than in Southern European countries. Handgrip strength was independently associated with age, height and ADL dependence in men and women. Overall, 44% of men and 53% of women had handgrip strength measures that were below the clinically relevant threshold for mobility limitations. Conclusion: This study reports the age- and sex-stratified reference values for handgrip strength in a representative sample of the Swiss population, aged 75–99 years. Although grip strength decreased with advancing age in both sexes; the relative decline was greater in men than women. Nonetheless men had significantly higher grip strength in all age groups. While the Swiss population sampled had greater grip strength than that reported in other European countries, about 50% were still classified as at risk of mobility limitations.

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Accepted/In Press date: 27 October 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 6 November 2018
Published date: 6 November 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426032
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426032
ISSN: 1471-2318
PURE UUID: d9e3b75e-8fb4-4c6e-9dfb-9234b49ea52c
ORCID for Maria Stokes: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4204-0890

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Date deposited: 09 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:48

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Contributors

Author: Julia Wearing
Author: Peter Konings
Author: Maria Stokes ORCID iD
Author: Eling D. de Bruin

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