Knee extension strength measurements should be considered as part of the comprehensive geriatric assessment

Suey S. Y. Yeung, Esmee M. Reijnierse, Marijke C. Trappenburg, Gerard J. Blauw, Carel G. M. Meskers, Andrea B. Maier

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Background: Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) generally includes handgrip strength (HGS) as a measure of overall muscle strength that is associated with various health characteristics in geriatric outpatients. Whether this is also true for knee extension strength (KES) is yet unknown. This study aims to compare the associations between health characteristics from the CGA with both HGS and KES in geriatric outpatients. Methods: Data were retrieved from a cross-sectional study. A total of 163 community-dwelling older adults referred to a geriatric outpatient clinic of a middle-sized teaching hospital were included. Health characteristics included physical, nutritional, social, psychological, diseases, cognitive, and behavioural factors. HGS and KES were assessed three times for each limb and the best performance was used for analysis. Sex-specific z-scores of HGS and KES were used to allow comparison of effect estimates. Associations between health characteristics with standardized HGS and KES were analysed with linear regression adjusted for age, sex and further adjustment for standardized KES (for model of HGS) or standardized HGS (for model of KES). Results: Physical, nutritional and psychological health characteristics were positively associated with both HGS and KES after adjustment for age and sex, with overall stronger associations with KES compared to HGS. All significant associations with HGS were lost after further adjustment for KES; significant associations with KES remained after further adjustment for HGS, except for nutritional characteristics. Conclusions: Stronger associations of health characteristics with KES compared to HGS indicate its additional value and therefore inclusion of KES in the CGA is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Aged
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Muscle strength

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