Parentoni AN, Mendonça VA, Dos Santos KD, Sa LF, Ferreira FO, Gomes Pereira DA, Lustosa LP

J Frailty Aging 2015;4(2):64-68

Publication date: June 1, 2015


Gait speed is considered a predictor of adverse health outcomes and functional decline in older persons. This decline is also identified in respiratory muscles. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of gait speed in maximal inspiratory pressure, maximal expiratory pressure, handgrip strength, and the different types of frailty syndrome in community-dwelling elderly people.

Women (aged ≥ 65 years) were classified into different frailty phenotypes (n = 106). Measurements: Gait speed (10 m), handgrip strength (Jamar dynamometer), and maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressures (GerAr manovacuometer, MV-150/300 model) were measured. Linear regression analyses were conducted to determine the influence of gait speed and age on handgrip strength, maximal inspiratory pressure, and maximal expiratory pressure. Logistic regression was performed to assess the influence of gait speed and frailty age (α = 0.05).

A total of 106 elderly women participated in the study (73.96 ± 6.91 years). Thirty-two subjects were not frail, 42 were pre-frail, and 32 were frail. Gait speed and age significantly predicted handgrip strength and frailty (P < 0.05). In the multivariate model, gait speed had the greatest contribution, while age lost statistical significance. Regarding maximal inspiratory and maximal expiratory pressures, gait speed and age were significant explanatory variables (P < 0.05). In the multivariate model, gait speed lost statistical significance to predict maximal inspiratory pressure.

In conclusion, gait speed was confirmed to be a predictor of some health outcomes, including respiratory muscle function. The results suggest that interventions to increase gait speed may contribute to improve respiratory function and muscle strength, and decrease the risk of frailty among elderly people.

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