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Is Handgrip Strength a Useful Measure to Evaluate Lower Limb Strength and Functional Performance in Older Women?

Authors Rodacki ALF, Boneti Moreira N, Pitta A, Wolf R, Melo Filho J, Rodacki CLN, Pereira G

Received 10 March 2020

Accepted for publication 29 April 2020

Published 30 June 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1045—1056


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Andre Luiz Felix Rodacki,1 Natália Boneti Moreira,2 Arthur Pitta,1 Renata Wolf,1 Jarbas Melo Filho,1 Cintia de Lourdes Nahhas Rodacki,1,3 Gleber Pereira1

1Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil; 2Department of Physiotherapy Prevention and Rehabilitation, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil; 3Department of Physical Education, Paraná Technological Federal University, Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil

Correspondence: Andre Luiz Felix Rodacki
Centro de Estudos do Comportamento Motor (CECOM), Universidade Federal do Paraná. Centro Politécnico, Jardim Botânico, Curitiba, PR, Brasil
Tel| Fax +55 041 3360-4322
Email [email protected]

Aim: This study aimed to determine the association of handgrip strength with isometric and isokinetic strength (hip, knee and ankle extensor/flexor muscles), and functional capacity in older women.
Methods: The handgrip strength and lower limb strength of 199 older women (60– 86 years) were measured using JAMAR and BIODEX dynamometers, respectively. Time Up and Go, Five-times-sit-to-stand and 6m-walk functional tests were evaluated. Pearson correlations were used to determine the relationship between variables. Regression analysis was applied to identify if HS was able to predict TUG performance. The effect of age was analyzed by splitting the participants in a group of older women (OLD; from 60 to 70 years old) and very old women (from 71 to 86 years old).
Results: The HS and isometric/isokinetic strength correlations were negligible/low and, in most cases, were non-significant. The correlation between handgrip strength and functional tests also ranged predominantly from negligible (r=0.0 to 0.3) to low (r=0.3 to 0.5), irrespective of the group age. The handgrip strength was not able to explain the variance of the TUG performance.
Conclusion: Generalizing handgrip strength as a practical and straightforward measure to determine lower limbs and overall strength, and functional capacity in older women must be viewed with caution. Handgrip strength and standard strength measures of the lower limbs and functional tests present a negligible/low correlation.

Keywords: aged, muscle strength, handgrip, functional capacity

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