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Static one-leg standing balance test as a screening tool for low muscle mass in healthy elderly women

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Identification of simple screening tools for detecting lower skeletal muscle mass may be beneficial for planning effective interventions in the elderly. AIMS: We aimed to (1) establish a threshold for one-leg standing balance test (OLST) time for low muscle mass, and (2) test the ability of that threshold to assess muscular impairments in a poor balance group. METHODS: Eyes-open OLST (maximum duration 30 s) was performed with right and left legs in 291 women (age 71 ± 6 years). OLST time was calculated as the sum of the OLST time of right and left legs. Fat-free mass (FFM), skeletal muscle mass (SMM), fat mass, biceps brachii and vastus lateralis sizes; handgrip strength (HGS), elbow flexion maximum torque (MVCEF) and knee extension maximum torque (MVCKE) were measured. Muscle quality was calculated as MVCKE/FFM and physical activity was assessed by questionnaire. Low muscle mass was defined as SMMrelative of 22.1%, a previously established threshold for pre-sarcopenia. RESULTS: The OLST threshold time to detect low muscle mass was 55 s (sensitivity: 0.63; specificity: 0.60). The poor balance group (OLST < 55 s) had higher fat mass (3.0%, p < 0.001), larger VL thickness (5.1%, p = 0.016), and lower HGS (- 10.2%, p < 0.001), MVCEF (- 8.2%, p = 0.003), MVCKE (- 9.5%, p = 0.012), MVCKE/FFM (- 11.0%, p = 0.004) and physical activity (- 8.0%, p = 0.024) compared to the normal balance group. While after adjusting age, the differences exist for HGS, fat mass and VL thickness only. DISCUSSION: An OLST threshold of 55 s calculated as the summed score from both legs discriminated pre-sarcopenic characteristics among active, community-dwelling older women with limited potential (sensitivity 0.63, specificity 0.60). CONCLUSION: OLST, which can be performed easily in community settings without the need for more complex muscle mass measurement, may help identify women at risk of developing sarcopenia.
Journal: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research
ISSN: 1594-0667
Issue: 7
Volume: 33
Pages: 1831 - 1839
Number of pages: 9
Publication year:2021