The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 731–736 | Cite as

Grip work estimation during sustained maximal contraction: Validity and relationship with dependency and inflammation in elderly persons

  • Ivan Bautmans
  • O. Onyema
  • K. Van Puyvelde
  • S. Pleck
  • T. Mets
JNHA: Frailty and Cognitive Decline



To validate muscle endurance estimation and to examine relationships with dependency and inflammation in elderly persons.


Cross sectional validation and explorative study.


Hospitalized geriatric patients and community-dwelling controls.


91 elderly patients (aged 83±5 years), 100 elderly controls (aged 74±5 years) and 100 young controls (aged 23±3 years).


Grip strength (GS) was recorded continuously during sustained maximal contraction until exhaustion. Fatigue resistance (FR) was expressed as the time during which GS drops to 50% of its maximum. Grip work (GW) was estimated as GW=GS*0.75*FR, and compared to the measured GW. In the elderly participants, relationships (controlling for age and physical activity) of GS, FR, GW and GW corrected for body weight (GW/BW) with dependency (Katz-scale) and inflammation (circulating IL-6 and TNF-alpha) were analyzed.


Excellent correlation between estimated and measured GW was found (r=0.98, p<0.001). The method error coefficient of variance was 10% for all participants; 7% for all elderly and 8% for young controls. Better GS, FR, GW and GW/BW was significantly related with less dependency (all p<0.05 or p<0.01, except for FR in the male) and with lower circulating IL-6 (all p<0.05 or p<0.01, except for GS in both genders). Higher IL-6 was significantly related to worse dependency (p<0.01). No significant relationships with TNF-alpha were found.


GW estimation is a valid parameter reflecting muscle endurance in elderly persons presenting diverse clinical conditions. GW is significantly related to both dependency and circulating IL-6, and is a promising outcome parameter in comprehensive geriatric assessment.

Key words

Elderly acute phase reaction muscle fatigue validity grip strength 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Verlag France 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Bautmans
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • O. Onyema
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. Van Puyvelde
    • 3
  • S. Pleck
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. Mets
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.GerontologyVrije Universiteit BrüsselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Frailty in Ageing research departmentVrije Universiteit BrüsselBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.GeriatricsUniversitair Ziekenhuis BrüsselBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Gerontology and Frailty in Ageing research departmentVrije Universiteit BrüsselBrusselsBelgium

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