Relation between hand grip strength, respiratory muscle strength and spirometric measures in male nursing home residents

Aging Male. 2014 Sep;17(3):136-40. doi: 10.3109/13685538.2014.936001. Epub 2014 Jul 4.


Adverse-outcomes related to sarcopenia are mostly mentioned as physical disability. As the other skeletal muscles, respiratory muscles may also be affected by sarcopenia. Respiratory muscle strength is known to affect pulmonary functions. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the relations between extremity muscle strength, respiratory muscle strengths and spirometric measures in a group of male nursing home residents. Among a total of 104 male residents, residents with obstructive measures were excluded and final study population was composed of 62 residents. Mean age was 70.5 ± 6.7 years, body mass index: 27.7 ± 5.3 kg/m2 and dominant hand grip strength: 29.7 ± 6.5 kg. Hand grip strength was positively correlated with maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) (r = 0.35, p < 0.01 and r = 0.26, p < 0.05, respectively). In regression analysis, the only factor related to MIP was hand grip strength; among spirometric measures only parameter significantly related to grip strength was peak cough flow (PCF). The association of PCF with grip strength disappeared when MIP alone or "MIP and MEP" were included in the regression analysis. In the latter case, PCF was significantly associated only with MIP. We found peripheric muscle strength be associated with MIP and PCF but not with MEP or any other spirometric parameters. The relation between peripheral muscle strength and PCF was mediated by MIP. Our findings suggest that sarcopenia may affect inspiratory muscle strength earlier or more than the expiratory muscle strength. Sarcopenia may cause decrease in PCF in the elderly, which may stand for some common adverse respiratory complications.

Keywords: Grip strength; maximal inspiratory pressure; muscle strength; peak cough flow; respiratory muscles; sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*
  • Spirometry