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Handgrip Strength As A Predictor Of Functional, Psychological And Social Health. A Prospective Population-based Study Among The Oldest Old.

D. Taekema, J. Gussekloo, A. Maier, R. Westendorp, A. D. de Craen
Published 2010 · Medicine

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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 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.
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