Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

Matthew Delmonico

Abstract

Grip strength has been identified as a valid predictor of frailty and disability and has been shown to be a cost-effective method to assess muscular strength in older populations. Grip strength is also used in working definitions for sarcopenia classification. However, various forms of arthritis have been shown to negatively impact grip strength scores, which could potentially lead to misclassification. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate if hand arthritis is related to sarcopenia classification in a group of older women with or without symptoms of sarcopenia and if arthritis is related to upper and lower body muscular strength. Sarcopenia status was based on established working definitions that use grip strength or chair stands, physical function, body composition measures in a sample of 61 (71.9±4.6) and a sub-sample of 25 (72.3±4.6 years) older women. Arthritis status was based on self-report and grip strength was measured using a hand dynamometer. Upper body muscular strength was assessed with a one repetition maximum (1RM) test on a chest press machine, while lower body muscular strength was assessed with a 1RM test on a leg press machine. Characteristics of both samples were expressed as mean±SD and frequencies. A Fisher’s exact test assessed the relationship between non-specific arthritis and hand arthritis to sarcopenia status. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to assess the strength of the relationship between grip strength, chest press 1RM (CP1RM), and leg press 1RM (LP1RM) in those with hand arthritis and non-specific arthritis. Non-specific arthritis and hand arthritis were not related to sarcopenia status (p=0.36, p=0.44). There was no relationship between grip strength and CP1RM, grip strength and LP1RM, and CP1RM and LP1RM for those with non-specific arthritis or hand arthritis. Although non-specific arthritis and hand arthritis were not related to sarcopenia status via grip strength or failure to complete a single chair stand in this sample, studies with larger sample sizes should be done to assess how arthritis is related to sarcopenia status in older women and what forms are related to sarcopenia status.

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