Relationship Between Handgrip Strength and Pulmonary Function in Apparently Healthy Older Women

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Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

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Objectives To investigate the relationship between handgrip strength and pulmonary function. Design Cross‐sectional study of a representative sample of older Korean women. Setting The Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants Community‐dwelling women aged 65 and older without chronic diseases or pulmonary disease (N=605). Measurements Handgrip strength was measured using a digital hand dynamometer, and pulmonary function was tested according to guidelines of the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society using a spirometry system. Impaired pulmonary function was defined as a lower limit of normal (LLN) or less of forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for impaired pulmonary function according to handgrip strength quartile were calculated using multiple logistic regression analysis. Results Mean FVC and FEV1 gradually increased in accordance with handgrip strength quartiles (all P <.001). After adjusting for age, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol ingestion, aerobic physical activity, resistance exercise, household income, and education level the odds of impaired pulmonary function were greater for participants in the first quartile of handgrip strength (≤19.25 kg) than for those in the fourth quartile (25.31–37.30 kg) (FVC LLN: OR=3.46, 95 % CI=1.52–7.88; FEV1 LLN: OR=2.62, 95 % CI=1.12–6.15). Conclusion Handgrip strength was positively associated with pulmonary function in a dose‐dependent manner. Given the health implications of pulmonary function, timely detection of weaker handgrip strength in older people may be useful in assessing potential pulmonary function impairment.


Handgrip strength; Sarcopenia; Pulmonary function





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