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E. Savino, F. Sioulis, G. Guerra, M. Cavalieri, G. Zuliani, J.M. Guralnik, S. Volpato

J Frailty Aging 2012;1(1):32-38

Objective measures of physical function are useful prognostic tools also for hospitalized elders. Low handgrip strength is predictive of poor outcomes and it can be assessed also in a sitting position, representing a potential alternative measure in bedridden patients. We evaluated grip strength prognostic value in hospitalized older patients. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Geriatric, medical ward of an academic medical center in Ferrara, Italy. Participants: Patients aged 65 and older (N = 88) admitted to the hospital for an acute medical condition. Measurements: Patients were evaluated for grip strength at hospital admission and were re-evaluated at discharge. After discharge, they were followed every 3 months for 1 year by telephone interviews to assess new hospitalizations and vital status. Results: The mean age of the sample was 77.3 years, 47% were women. At admission, mean height standardized handgrip strength was 15.7±5 kg/m; men had greater strength (p<0.001). There was a direct relationship of admission grip strength with BMI (p<0.05), serum albumin (p=0.07), and Short Physical Performance Battery score (p<0.05), and an inverse relationship with age (gender-adjusted p value <0.01). In multiple regression analysis, after adjustment for possible confounders, patients in third tertile of grip strength had a shorter hospital stay compared to those in the first tertile (β -2.8; p<0.05). Patients with higher grip strength at discharge also had a lower risk of rehospitalization or death over the follow-up, although the result was not statistically significant (OR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.30-1.52). Conclusion: In older hospitalized medical patients, grip strength assessment might provide useful prognostic information.

E. Savino ; F. Sioulis ; G. Guerra ; M. Cavalieri ; G. Zuliani ; J.M. Guralnik ; S. Volpato (2012): Potential prognostic value of handgrip strength in older hospitalized patients. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2012.6

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