B-58 Free Communication/Poster - Physical Activity and Health I Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 1: 00 PM - 6: 00 PM Room: CC-Hall WA2
The decrease in muscular strength is one of the key symptoms of sarcopenia in older adults. A growing body of literature shows inverse associations of maximal isometric handgrip strength, a simple and non-invasive measure of skeletal muscle strength, with risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related morbidity and mortality. However, the evidence is equivocal and there is little research examining the relationship of the concurrent longitudinal change in handgrip strength and CVD biomarkers.
PURPOSE: This study examined longitudinal relationships between maximal handgrip strength and CVD biomarkers in older adults living in rural areas.
METHODS: Data for this study came from Project FRONTIER (N=138; 59±12y, average 2.8 follow-up years), an ongoing epidemiological study monitoring the health of adults in rural northwest Texas, USA. Handgrip strength normalized to body mass index and CVD biomarkers including triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), waist circumference (WC), and blood pressure (BP) were obtained. The association between strength and CVD biomarkers was examined at baseline, with strength as a predictor of the annual change in biomarkers, and in a parallel fashion between the annual change in strength and CVD biomarkers.
RESULTS: After adjusting for demographic information, results for the total sample showed strength to associate with WC (b= -13.6, P<.001) and diastolic BP (b=6.1, P=.025) at baseline. Strength was not found to predict the annual change in any biomarker. Rather, the annual change in strength was positively associated with the change in HDL-C (b=12.7, P=.003). Interestingly, when participants were stratified into low and higher CVD risk groups, low risk adults who did not lose strength had greater annual increases in HDL-C than low risk adults that lost strength (2.3 vs. -1.4 mg/dl/year, P<.001). Adults with higher CVD risk who did not lose strength had greater annual decreases in triglycerides (P=.054) and BP (P's≤0.05) than higher risk adults that lost strength.
CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, the present findings suggest that maintenance of muscle strength with aging is related to positive changes in CVD risk factors.