Age and gender, two key factors in the associations between physical activity and strength during the ageing process

Maturitas (Impact Factor: 2.94). 06/2014; 78(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.03.007


The aims of this study were to identify if the associations of physical activity (PA) and muscle strength may vary throughout the ageing process; to study the differences among genders in the relationships between PA and strength in elderly people and to test whether these differences are explained by the hormonal, nutritional and inflammatory status.

Study design
A total of 1741 people ≥65 years of age participated in this cross-sectional study.

Main outcome measures
Upper- and lower-limbs maximal voluntary isometric strength was obtained using standardized techniques and equipment. PA was recorded by a validated questionnaire. The associations of PA with strength were assessed using generalized linear regression models with a Gamma-distributed dependent variable.

A significant gender by PA interaction was found for all strength-related variables (all P < 0.01). Moreover, when sexual hormones, albumin or C-Reactive protein were taken into account in the model, the results did not significantly change. In women, PA was positively associated with upper and lower-body strength; however in men, PA was only associated with grip and knee strength (both P < 0.01). Higher strength values were associated with higher levels of PA, especially in women. However, this tendency had a different pattern across the age range, showing a stronger association in the ‘young’ elderly compared with the ‘old’ elderly.

Higher levels of PA are related to greater muscle strength, especially in women and those who were younger.

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Available from: Francisco José García García, May 03, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: the association between muscular strength, mortality and hospitalisation with ageing can change depending on sex and the body region analysed (e.g. upper and lower limb muscles). to determine the effect of measuring lower and upper extremities muscular strength on the relationship between strength, mortality and hospitalisation risk in elder men and women. a population-based cohort study using data from the Toledo Study for Healthy Aging (TSHA). a Spanish population sample of 1,755 elders aged ≥65 years participated in this study. Upper (handgrip and shoulder) and lower limbs (knee and hip) maximal voluntary isometric strength was obtained using standardised techniques and equipment. Cox proportional hazards model was used to examine mortality and hospitalisation over 5.5 and 3 years of follow-up, respectively. after adjustment for potential confounding factors, including co-morbidities and BMI, hazard ratio of death and hospitalisation was significantly lower in the stronger women and men, but showing regional- and sex-specific differences. That is shoulder, knee and hip muscle regions in women and handgrip and shoulder in men (all P < 0.05). There was a cumulative effect of measuring several muscle strengths over the risk of health events (P < 0.05), so that mortality hazard ratio increased by 45% in women and 25% in men per muscular strength (shoulder, grip, knee and hip) in the weaker strength quartile increase (P < 0.01). regional muscle strength is a predictor of medium-term mortality and hospitalisation in elder men and women. Multiple strength measures including lower and upper body limb muscles are better predictors than a single strength measurement. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
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