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Grip strength and inflammatory biomarker profiles in very old adults

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Antoneta Granic, Dr Karen Davies, Dr Carmen Martin-RuizORCiD, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger, Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, Professor Avan SayerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: weak grip strength (GS) and chronic inflammation have been implicated in the aetiology of sarcopenia in older adults. Given the interrelationships between inflammatory biomarkers, a summary variable may provide better insight into the relationship between inflammation and muscle strength. This approach has not been investigated in very old adults (aged ≥85) who are at highest risk of muscle weakness. Methods: we used mixed models to explore the prospective association between GS over 5 years in 845 participants in the Newcastle 85+ Study, and inflammatory components identified by principal component analysis (PCA). Cut-offs of ≤27 kg (men) and ≤16 (women) were used to define sub-cohorts with weak and normal GS at each assessment. Results: PCA identified 3 components, which explained 70% of the total variance in 7 baseline biomarkers. Basal interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) had the highest loadings on Component 1; stimulated IL-6 and TNF-α and homocysteine the highest on Component 2; high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) loaded positively and albumin negatively to Component 3. In adjusted mixed models, only Component 3 was associated with GS. One SD increase of Component 3 was associated with a 0.41 kg lower GS initially (P = 0.03) in all participants, but not with GS decline over time. Similar conclusions held for those in the weak and normal GS sub-cohorts. Conclusion: an inflammatory profile including hsCRP and albumin was independently associated with baseline GS. Future studies linking inflammatory profiles and muscle strength are needed to corroborate these findings in older adults.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Granic A, Davies K, Martin-Ruiz C, Jagger C, Kirkwood TBL, von Zglinicki T, Sayer AA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2017

Volume: 46

Issue: 6

Pages: 976-982

Print publication date: 01/11/2017

Online publication date: 25/05/2017

Acceptance date: 11/05/2017

Date deposited: 19/05/2017

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afx088


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Funder referenceFunder name
R124/0509Dunhill Medical Trust