Determinants of dynamic inspiratory muscle strength in healthy trained elderly

Postgrad Med. 2021 Sep;133(7):807-816. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2021.1945761. Epub 2021 Jul 20.


Background: The S-Index assessed by means of electronic devices is a measure of Inspiratory Muscle Strength (IMS) that highly correlates with the maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). The variables involved when using regression models for the prediction of IMS/MIP depend on both the sample characteristics and the device or protocol used. In light of the scarce information on the influence of physical activity (PA) on IMS in healthy older adults (OA), together with the incorporation of new assessment devices, the objectives of this research are: 1) to determine which factors influence the IMS in a group of trained OA, using a portable electronic device; and 2) to propose a regression model to improve its assessment and training.

Methods: One hundred and fifty-nine individuals were assessed for body composition, lung capacity, IMS, and PA. A total of 92 individuals (72.73 ± 4.99 years) were considered for the final sample.

Results: Using age, sex, and weight as control variables, forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) is the variable which is most likely to be included in the model (80%), without physical fitness appearing to be decisive. In the absence of spirometric variables, cardiorespiratory fitness (6MWT) takes on this role in a predictive model (16%).

Conclusions: This is the first study proposing IMS predictive formulas considering spirometry and/or physical fitness results for a Spanish, healthy, and trained OAs population. A predictive formula including also the spirometric variables (mainly the FEV1) might better predict the inspiratory muscle strength. In addition, physical and respiratory functions confirm to be different, so it is necessary for the inspiratory muscles to be trained in a specific way.

Keywords: Respiratory training; clinical assessment; functional assessment; inspiratory muscle strength; normal values; predictive equations.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Composition
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*
  • Spain
  • Wearable Electronic Devices