Handgrip strength and antropometry of a population of Peruvian older adults

Citation Author(s):
Casado FL, Casado-Pena JP
Submitted by:
Fanny Casado-Pena
Last updated:
Thu, 11/08/2018 - 10:34
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AIM: Population aging is a worldwide phenomenon leading to increased life expectancy without necessarily meaning more years of autonomous life. Frailty is characterized by diminished strength, resistance and physiological function that increase vulnerability leading to dependency and mortality. While frailty diagnoses requires a clinical assessment of the patients overall health including at least five different criteria, the relationship among them it is little explored. Peru´s recent economic and political stability has led to increased life expectancy demanding studies to inform evidence-based public policy. METHODS: This study focused on a population of older adults (N=486) who served in the military or are related (parents and spouses) to military personnel. Our results describe socioeconomic, anthropometric and functional indicators of health. RESULTS: The anthropometric characteristics indicate that men have higher grip strength (23.9 vs. 17.0 kg.f, respectively) than women. However, the percentage of persons with gait speed lower than 0.8 m/s was higher in women than in men (59% vs. 45%, respectively). These two criteria are correlated in men and women, and the level of discrimination of slow walkers (<0.8. m/s) by maximum handgrip strength in men is 0.76 (95%CI: 0.70-0.82) and 0.74 (95%CI: 0.67-0.80) in women. CONCLUSIONS: Since slow walking is a potent predictor of mortality in older adults, our results indicate that weak handgrip strength alone may be an alternate predictor of mortality in these patients. This study supports the use of handgrip strength alone when gait speed can´t be measured due to limited infrastructure or disability.