Scripties UMCG - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
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Popeye or Pinocchio? The relationship between muscle mass and grip strength in an elderly population by measuring muscle mass and testing grip strength

(2016) Kooijman, P.

Background. The frailty syndrome is considered to be the most problematic expression of ageing. One of the underlying causes is a gradual decline in muscle mass and muscle strength. In the screening for patients at risk, standardization of the measurement instruments of loss of muscle is essential.
Objectives. This study aimed to measure muscle mass and muscle strength in elderly in order to correlate existing measurement instrument tools to each other. The second objective is to measure and correlate muscle density and muscle strength in elderly.
Design and setting. This prospective observational study included patients of 70 years and above visiting the outpatient clinic of the Gelre Hospital in Apeldoorn to undergo a Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen (January-April 2016). Muscle mass was calculated by Total Psoas Area (TPA). Muscle strength was measured by hand grip strength (GS). In pa-tients with identical amount of contrast fluid, muscle density was measured using the Houns-field Unit Average Calculation (HUAC).
Results. A total of 175 patients (median age 76 years) was included. After correction for con-founding factors (age, gender, and frail state) GS and TPA remained significantly correlated (R²=0.43, P=0.001). GS and HUAC were not significantly correlated (P=0.46 for men and P=0.39 for women). Influence of contrast fluid on HUAC was observed.
Conclusion. Although muscle strength (GS) and muscle mass (TPA) are correlated, they each symbolize different aspects of a patient’s physical condition. Muscle density (HUAC) is not correlated with muscle strength.

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