Background: Longevity increases worldwide but there are few studies on body composition and hand grip strength inpopulations over 80 years. Given high prevalence of chronic disease and functional disability in octogenarians, it may be difficult todistinguish effects of ageing from those imposed by disease. The European Consensus definition of sarcopenia recommends usingboth low muscle mass and function for diagnosis.
Objectives: Examine body composition and hand grip strength in a selected groupof community-dwelling older adults with high level of functional independence. In addition, longitudinal changes in handgripstrength were examined using previously collected data.
Design: Cross-sectional body composition and hand grip strength witha four year retrospective analysis on previously assessed hand grip strength.
Setting: Measurements were conducted by homevisits.
Participants: 102 community-dwelling 83-96 year-olds, 50 % women.
Measurements: Hand grip strength was registered bya dynamometer and body composition analysis using bioimpedance spectroscopy.
Results: According to European Consensusdefinition, only 6/102 had normal muscle mass - no men, although 78 % of men and 40 % of women had normal muscle strength.Since previously collected data four years earlier, men had lost strength (p<0.001), while women had not (p=0.202).
Conclusions: Subject characteristics and health status support well-preserved body energy, protein stores and muscle strength. Low musclemass was much more prevalent than low muscle strength. Results may give an indication of what constitutes a healthy bodycomposition in oldest old and could serve as a starting point for reference values on healthy body composition in octogenarians.
2015. Vol. 4, no 1, 54-58 p.