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Grip Strength Tied to Pulmonary Function in Older Women

Dose-dependent positive association seen in cohort of community-dwelling Korean women aged ≥65

Elderly hands

THURSDAY, Sept. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For older Korean women, handgrip strength is positively associated with pulmonary function, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Da-Hye Son, M.D., from Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 605 community-dwelling Korean women aged 65 years and older without chronic diseases or pulmonary disease. A digital hand dynamometer was used to measure handgrip strength, and pulmonary function was tested according to the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society guidelines using a spirometry system.

The researchers found that there was a gradual increase in mean forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in accordance with handgrip strength quartiles. The odds of impaired pulmonary function were greater for participants in the first versus the fourth quartile of handgrip strength after adjustment for age, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol intake, aerobic physical activity, resistance exercise, household income, and education level (FVC lower limit of normal [LLN]: odds ratio, 3.46 and FEV1 LLN: odds ratio, 2.62).

"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," the authors write.

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