Correlation between hand grip strength and regional muscle mass in older Asian adults: an observational study

Jessica Chan, Yi Chien Lu, Melissa Min Szu Yao, Russell Oliver Kosik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Previous research has demonstrated a correlation between hand grip strength (HGS) and muscle strength. This study aims to determine the relationship between HGS and muscle mass in older Asian adults. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) records of 907 older adults (239 (26.4%) men and 668 (73.6%) women) at one medical institution in Taipei, Taiwan, from January 2019, to December 2020. Average age was 74.80 ± 9.43 and 72.93 ± 9.09 for the males and females respectively. The inclusion criteria were: 1) aged 60 and older, 2) underwent a full-body DXA scan, and 3) performed hand grip measurements. Patients with duplicate results, incomplete records, stroke history, and other neurological diseases were excluded. Regional skeletal muscle mass was measured using DXA. HGS was measured using a Jamar handheld dynamometer. Results: Total lean muscle mass (kg) averaged 43.63 ± 5.81 and 33.16 ± 4.32 for the males and females respectively. Average HGS (kg) was 28.81 ± 9.87 and 19.19 ± 6.17 for the males and females respectively. In both sexes, HGS and regional muscle mass consistently declined after 60 years of age. The rates of decline per decade in upper and lower extremity muscle mass and HGS were 7.06, 4.95, and 12.30%, respectively, for the males, and 3.36, 4.44, and 12.48%, respectively, for the females. In men, HGS significantly correlated with upper (r = 0.576, p < 0.001) and lower extremity muscle mass (r = 0.532, p < 0.001). In women, the correlations between HGS and upper extremity muscle mass (r = 0.262, p < 0.001) and lower extremity muscle mass (r = 0.364, p < 0.001) were less strong, though also statistically significant. Conclusion: Muscle mass and HGS decline with advancing age in both sexes, though the correlation is stronger in men. HGS measurements are an accurate proxy for muscle mass in older Asian adults, particularly in males.

Original languageEnglish
Article number206
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Asian
  • Hand grip strength
  • Muscle mass
  • Older adults
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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