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Hand-Grip Strength Cut Points to Screen Older Persons at Risk for Mobility Limitation

Authors

  • Janne Sallinen PhD,

    1. From the *Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Health, Functional Capacity and Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; §Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland; and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
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  • Sari Stenholm PhD,

    1. From the *Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Health, Functional Capacity and Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; §Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland; and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
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  • Taina Rantanen PhD,

    1. From the *Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Health, Functional Capacity and Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; §Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland; and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
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  • Markku Heliövaara MD, PhD,

    1. From the *Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Health, Functional Capacity and Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; §Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland; and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
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  • Päivi Sainio MSc,

    1. From the *Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Health, Functional Capacity and Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; §Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland; and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
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  • Seppo Koskinen MD, PhD

    1. From the *Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Health, Functional Capacity and Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; §Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland; and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
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Address correspondence to Janne Sallinen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P. O. Box 1199, FIN-70211, Kuopio, Finland. E-mail: janne.sallinen@vtt.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine optimal hand-grip strength cut points for likelihood of mobility limitation in older people and to study whether these cut points differ according to body mass index (BMI).

DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of data.

SETTING: Data collected in the Finnish population-based Health 2000 Survey.

PARTICIPANTS: One thousand eighty-four men and 1,562 women aged 55 and older with complete data on anthropometry, hand-grip strength and self-reported mobility.

MEASUREMENTS: Mobility limitation was defined as difficulty walking 0.5 km or climbing stairs. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to estimate hand-grip strength cut points for likelihood of mobility limitation.

RESULTS: The overall hand-grip strength cut points for likelihood of mobility limitation were 37 kg (sensitivity 62%; specificity 76%) for men and 21 kg (sensitivity 67%; specificity 73%) for women. The effect of the interaction between hand-grip strength and BMI on mobility limitation was significant in men (P=.02), but no such interaction was observed in women (P=.16). In men, the most-optimal cutoff points were 33 kg (sensitivity 73%; specificity 79%) for normal-weight men, 39 kg (sensitivity 67%; specificity 71%) for overweight men, and 40 kg (sensitivity 57%; specificity 68%) for obese men. In women, BMI-specific hand-grip strength cutoff values was not markedly more accurate than the overall cutoff value.

CONCLUSION: The hand-grip strength test is a useful tool to identify persons at risk of mobility limitation. In men, hand-grip strength cut points for mobility increased with BMI, whereas in women, only one hand-grip strength threshold was identified.

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