Volaklis, K A; Halle, M; Thorand, B; Peters, A; Ladwig, K H; Schulz, H; Koenig, W; Meisinger, C
Handgrip strength is inversely and independently associated with multimorbidity among older women: Results from the KORA-Age study.
Data on the association between handgrip strength and multimorbidity (MMB) are missing.The purpose of this study was to examine if handgrip strength is related to MMB in a large population-based sample of older persons.The cross-sectional analysis was based on 1079 older people (aged 65-94years), who participated in the KORA-Age study in the Augsburg region, southern Germany. Participants underwent an interview and extensive examinations, including anthropometric measurements, registration of chronic diseases, determination of health-related behaviors (smoking, alcohol intake and physical activity), collection of blood samples, and muscle strength measurement using hand-grip dynamometry.In men, handgrip strength correlated strongly with the number of co-existing diseases (r=-0.176, p<0.001), and the same pattern was observed for women (r=-0.287, p<0.001). Among women, handgrip strength in the lower tertile compared to the upper tertile was significantly associated with an increased odds of having MMB (OR: 2.57, 95% CI: 1.30-5.07, p=0.007) after controlling for age, BMI, education, alcohol intake, smoking habits, medications number, inflammatory markers, telomere length and levels of physical activity. Contrary, no significant association between handgrip strength and MMB was found among men (OR: 1.32, 95% CI: 0.73-2.40, p=0.362) after multivariable adjustment.Lower levels of handgrip strength are associated with a higher odd of MMB among older women even after adjusting for traditional and novel confounders. Increasing the levels of muscular strength in older women seems to be important in order to reduce the risk for the co-occurrence of multiple chronic diseases.