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Low handgrip strength is associated with reduced functional recovery and longer hospital stay in patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures: a prospective cohort study

Key summary points

AbstractSection Aim

To evaluate the impact of low handgrip strength on functional outcomes in older patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

AbstractSection Findings

Decline in baseline grip strength was associated with decreased activities of daily living at discharge and longer hospital stay, independent of age, sex, physical function, cognitive level, nutritional status, and comorbidities.

AbstractSection Message

Early detection and intervention of muscle weakness may help to improve patient outcomes. However, further studies are needed to validate our findings.

Abstract

Aim

Despite the growing interest in sarcopenia in clinical medicine, there is little evidence to support the association between muscle strength and functional prognosis in patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of low handgrip strength (HGS) on functional outcomes in older patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

Methods

A prospective cohort study was performed between 2017 and 2019 on consecutive patients with conservatively treated vertebral compression fractures who were newly admitted for post-acute rehabilitation. HGS was measured on admission. Outcomes included the Functional Independence Measure-motor (FIM-motor) score at discharge and length of hospital stay. Multivariate linear regression analyses were utilized to determine whether HGS at baseline was significantly associated with these outcomes after adjustment for potential confounders.

Results

Of the 207 patients admitted, 159 patients (mean age 83 years; 78% women) were enrolled in the analysis. The mean (standard deviation: SD) HGS was 15.9 (7.7) kg. Multivariate analysis showed that HGS at admission was independently associated with the FIM-motor score at discharge (β = 0.107, p = 0.006) and length of stay (β = − 0.118, p = 0.030).

Conclusion

Low HGS is commonly found and is associated with reduced functional recovery and prolonged hospital stay in older patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Early detection and interventions for low HGS could help achieve improved outcomes. However, further studies are needed to validate our findings.

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Acknowledgements

This research did not receive any funding from agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Yoshihiro Yoshimura.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Nagaoka, S., Yoshimura, Y., Eto, T. et al. Low handgrip strength is associated with reduced functional recovery and longer hospital stay in patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures: a prospective cohort study. Eur Geriatr Med 12, 767–775 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41999-020-00446-4

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Keywords

  • Handgrip strength
  • Functional outcomes
  • Length of stay
  • Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures
  • Sarcopenia