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Reduced muscle strength, as measured by handgrip strength (HS), has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to examine the association between different HS indexes and CVD risk factors in elderly Chinese individuals. We also determine optimal cutoffs of HS indexes for predicting CVD risk factors.
Data were obtained from 603 men and 789 women aged ≥ 60 years (average age 66.8±6.4y). These study participants were recruited in the suburb area of Tianjin, China. An individual was considered a patient when they exhibited any one of three CVD risk factors: diabetes mellitus, hypertension and dyslipidemia. All participants were interviewed face-to-face. In addition, serum samples were collected from all participants, and all participants underwent measures of anthropometry and HS.
The optimal cutoffs were 0.376 of HS/weight in men and 0.726 of HS/ body fat mass in women for predicting diabetes mellitus. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of at least one CVD risk factor for those with low muscle strength identified by HS/body fat mass were 2.14 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 1.53, 3.44; p<0.001) in men and 2.32 (95% CI: 1.60, 3.29; p<0.001) in women.
HS/body fat mass appear to be the index best associated with CVD risk factors except diabetes mellitus in men. The optimal cutoffs of HS indexes have the potential to identify elderly adults at risk of CVD.