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Revista médica de Chile

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ARROYO, Patricia et al. Anthropometry, body composition and functional limitations in the elderly. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2007, vol.135, n.7, pp.846-854. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Functional limitations limit the independence and jeopardize the quality of life of elderly subjects. Aim: To assess the association between anthropometric measures and body composition with functional ¡imitations in community-living older people. Material and Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 377 people >6 5 years old (238 women), randomly selected from the SABE/Chile project. Complete anthropometric measurements were done. Handgrip muscle strength was measured using dynamometers. Body composition was determined using Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry. Functional limitations were assessed using self reported and observed activities. Results: Body mass index was strongly associated with fat mass (men r =0.87; women r =0.91) and with lean mass (men r =0.55; women r =0.62). Males had significantly greater lean mass (48.9 kg vs 34.9 kg), and bone mass than females (2.6 kg vs 1.8 kg) and women had higher fat mass than men (26.3 kg vs 22.9 kg). The prevalence of functional ¡imitations was high, affecting more women than men (63.7% vs 37.5%, p <0.01). Functional ¡imitations were associated with lower handgrip strength in both sexes. In the multiple regression models, with functional ¡imitations as dependent variable and anthropometric measures as contributing variables, only hand grip strength had a significant association (negative) with functional ¡imitation in both genders. Age was also a significant risk factor for functional ¡imitations among women. Conclusions: Hand grip strength was strongly and inversely associated with functional ¡imitations. Handgrip dynamometry is an easy, cheap and low time-consuming indicator for the assessment of functional ¡imitations and the evaluation of geriatric interventions aimed to improve functional ability

Keywords : Aged; Anthropometry; Body composition; Frail elderly.

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