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Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2023

Original Article JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.1-8
Muscle power predicts frailty status over four years: A retrospective cohort study of the National Health and Aging Trends Study
Caitlin M. Burbank, Adam Branscum, Marit L. Bovbjerg, Karen Hooker, Ellen Smit
Keywords: Aged, Chair rise, Frailty, Functional status, Muscle power
Objectives: Muscle power is a critical measure of physical capacity in older adults, however the association between muscle power and frailty is not well explored. The purpose of this study is to estimate the association between muscle power and frailty in community-dwelling older adults in the National Health and Aging Trends Study from 2011-2015. Methods: Cross-sectional and prospective analyses were performed on 4,803 community-dwelling older adults. Mean muscle power was calculated using the five-time sit-to-stand test, height, weight, and chair height and dichotomized into high-watt and low-watt groups. Frailty was defined using the five Fried criteria. Results: The low watt-group had higher odds of pre-frailty and frailty at baseline year 2011. In prospective analyses, the low-watt group that was pre-frail at baseline had increased hazards of frailty (AHR 1.62, 95% CI 1.31, 1.99) and decreased hazards of non-frailty (AHR 0.71, 95% CI 0.59, 0.86). The low-watt group that was non-frail at baseline had increased hazards of pre-frailty (1.24, 95% CI 1.04, 1.47) and frailty (1.70, 1.07, 2.70). Conclusions: Lower muscle power is associated with higher odds of pre-frailty and frailty and increased hazards of becoming frail or pre-frail over four years in those who are pre-frail or non-frail at baseline.
Original Article JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.9-22
Instructor and client views of a community falls prevention service and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative exploration of a service in England
Leah Jayes, Joanne R. Morling, Sophie Carlisle, Ilze Bogdanovica, Tessa Langley
Keywords: COVID-19, Exercise, Falls Prevention, Frailty
Objectives: Falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over 75 years. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of providers (instructors) and service users (clients) of a fall’s prevention exercise programme and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Derbyshire, UK. Methods: Ten one-to-one interviews with class instructors and five focus groups with clients (n=41). Transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Most clients were initially motivated to attend the programme to improve their physical health. All clients reported improvements in their physical health as a result of attending the classes; additional benefits to social cohesion were also widely discussed. Clients referred to the support provided by instructors during the pandemic (online classes and telephone calls) as a ‘life-line’. Clients and instructors thought more could be done to advertise the programme, especially linking in with community and healthcare services. Conclusions: The benefits of attending exercise classes went beyond the intended purpose of improving fitness and reducing the risk of falls, extending into improved mental and social wellbeing. During the pandemic the programme also prevented feelings of isolation. Participants felt more could be done to advertise the service and increase referrals from healthcare settings.
Original Article JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.23-31
Balance performance and grip strength as predictors of cognitive function among community-dwelling older adults in the USA
Jennifer Blackwood, Reza Amini, Gerry Conti, Quinn Counseller, Rebekah Taylor, Deena Fayyad
Keywords: Cognition, Memory, Health, Postural stability, Successful aging
Objectives: To investigate how balance and grip strength predicts the probability of cognitive function impairment (i.e., executive function: mild and mild-to-moderate impairment, and delayed recall) over eight years in community-dwelling older adults in the US, controlling for sex and race/ethnicity. Methods: The National Health and Aging Trends Study dataset (2011 – 2018) was employed. Dependent variables included the Clock Drawing Test (Executive Function) and Delayed Word Recall Test. Longitudinal ordered logistic regression examined the association between cognitive function and predictors (i.e., balance and grip strength) over eight waves (n=9800, 1,225 per wave). Results: Those who could complete side-by-side standing and semi-tandem tasks were 33% and 38% less likely to have mild or mild-to-moderate executive function impairment, respectively, relative to those who could not complete these tests. One score decrease in grip strength increased the executive function impairment risk by 13% (Odds Ratio: 0.87, CI: 0.79-0.95). Those who completed the side-by-side tasks were 35% (Odds Ratio: 0.65, CI: 0.44-0.95) less likely to experience delayed recall impairments than those who could not complete this test. With one score decrease in grip strength, the risk of delayed recall impairment was increased by 11% (OR: 0.89, CI: 0.80-1.00). Conclusions: A combination of these two simple tests (i.e., semi-tandem stance and grip strength) can screen for cognitive impairment among community-dwelling older adults to identify people with mild and mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment in clinical settings.
Original Article JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.32-37
Risk of sarcopenia, fear of COVID-19, anxiety, depression and physical activity levels: Associations across patients on hemodialysis within Greece
Maria Tsekoura, Nikolaos Kalampakos, Konstantinos Fousekis, Konstantinos Mylonas, Pavlos Angelopoulos, Charalampos Matzaroglou, Theodora Bita, John Gliatis, Elias Tsepis, Evdokia Billis
Keywords: SARC-F, Fear of COVID-19, Sarcopenia risk, Anxiety, Depression
Objectives: The purpose of this multicenter cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between SARC-F, fear of COVID 19, anxiety, depression and physical activity in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Methods: This study was conducted in 3 hemodialysis centers in Greece during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarcopenia risk was assessed using the Greek version of SARC-F (≥4). Demographic and medical history were collected from the patient’s medical charts. The participants were also asked to fill the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) questionnaire. Results: A hundred and thirty-two (132) patients on hemodialysis (92 men, 70.75±13.14 years) were enrolled. Sarcopenia risk (utilizing the SARC-F) was found in 41.7% of patients on hemodialysis. The average duration of hemodialysis was 3.94±4.58 years. The mean score values for SARC-F, FCV-19S and HADS were 3.9±2.57, 21.08±5.32, and 15.02±6.69, respectively. The majority of patients were physically inactive. The SARC-F scores were strongly associated with age (r=56; p<0.001), HADS (r=0.55; p<0.001), levels of physical activity (r=0.5; p<0.001), but not with FCV-19S (r=0.27; p<0.001). Conclusion: A statistically significant relationship was recorded between sarcopenia risk and age, anxiety/depression and levels of physical inactivity in patients on hemodialysis. Future studies are necessary in order to evaluate the association of specific characteristics of patients.
Original Article JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.38-43
Sarcopenia: An Assessment into the Prevalence and Disease Burden in Chronic Pancreatitis Patients
Taiwo Oyebola, Akash Mavilakandy, James A. Stephenson, Ruth Boyce, Neil Bhardwaj, Giuseppe Garcea
Keywords: Chronic Pancreatitis, Frailty, Nutrition, Sarcopenia
Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of sarcopenia in patients referred to a Multidisciplinary Chronic Pancreatitis (CP) Clinic at the University Hospitals of Leicester. Methods: All patients who had undergone CT scans were identified. Controls were identified from CT colonograms with no features of malignancy or pancreatic pathology. The psoas muscle index (PMI) was calculated using the formula: total psoas muscle cross-sectional area at the third lumbar vertebral level (cm2)/ the patient’s height squared (m2). PMI cut-offs were <6.31cm2/m2 and <3.91cm2/m2 for males and females, respectively. Results: 58 CP CT scans were available for analysis along with 62 control scans. 71.9% of CP patients had a PMI below the cut-off for their gender, compared to 45.2% of the controls. The mean PMI (±SD) for male CP patients and male controls were 5.54cm2/m2 (±1.60) and 6.73 cm2/m2 (±1.54), (P=0.0023). The mean PMI (±SD) for female CP patients and female controls were 3.82 cm2/m2 (+/-1.46) and 4.98 cm2/m2 (+/-1.43), (P=0.0021). Conclusions: CP patients had a mean PMI below the cut-off value, suggesting that CP patients are largely sarcopenic. As malnutrition is a significant feature of CP, optimisation of nutrition may help to ameliorate sarcopenia in CP patients.
Review Article JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.44-52
Sarcopenia in Rheumatoid arthritis. A narrative review
Dimitra Moschou, Michail Krikelis, Christos Georgakopoulos, Evangelia Mole, Efstathios Chronopoulos, Symeon Tournis, Clio Mavragani, Konstantinos Makris, Ismene Dontas, Susana Gazi
Keywords: Autoimmune disease, Inflammation, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia was recently identified as an entity in the ICD-10 classification of October 2016. According to the recommendation of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP2), sarcopenia is defined as low muscle strength and low muscle mass, while physical performance is used to categorize the severity of sarcopenia. In recent years, sarcopenia has become increasingly common in younger patients with autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Due to the chronic inflammation caused by RA, patients have reduced physical activity, immobility, stiffness, and joint destruction and all of that lead to the loss of muscle mass, muscle strength, disability and significantly lowering the patients’ quality of life. This article is a narrative review about sarcopenia in RA, with a special focus in its pathogenesis and management.
Research Protocol JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.53-59
The Rheumatoid Arthritis and MUScle (RAMUS) Study: Protocol for an observational single-arm study of skeletal muscle in patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving tofacitinib
Joshua L. Bennett, Maha Egail, Amy E. Anderson, Richard Dodds, Catherine Feeney, Gráinne S. Gorman, Arthur G. Pratt, Avan A. Sayer, Kieren G. Hollingsworth, John D. Isaacs
Keywords: Body composition, Magnetic resonance imaging, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcopenia, Tofacitinib
People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are disproportionately affected by sarcopenia, the generalised loss of muscle strength and mass, consequently facing an increased risk of falls, functional decline and death. Currently, there are no approved pharmacological treatments for sarcopenia. RA patients who start tofacitinib (a Janus kinase inhibitor) develop small increases in serum creatinine that are not explained by renal function changes and could reflect sarcopenia improvement. The RAMUS Study is a proof of concept, single-arm observational study in which patients with RA who commence tofacitinib according to routine care will be offered participation according to eligibility criteria. Participants will undergo lower limb quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, whole-body dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, joint examination, muscle function testing and blood tests at three time points: prior to starting tofacitinib and 1 and 6 months afterwards. Muscle biopsy will be performed before and 6 months after starting tofacitinib. The primary outcome will be lower limb muscle volume changes following treatment initiation. The RAMUS Study will investigate whether muscle health improves following tofacitinib treatment for RA. Identifying a potential pharmacological treatment for sarcopenia could have important implications for individuals with RA and for older people in general.ISRCTN registry ID: 13364395.
Research Protocol JFSF, Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.60-65
The effectiveness of mental imagery on motor, cognitive and emotional status of older people with early-stage dementia: A study protocol
Anna Christakou, Christina Bouzineki, Marousa Pavlou, George Stranjalis, Vasiliki Sakellari
Keywords: Balance, Cognitive status, Dementia, Mental Imagery, Physiotherapy
Dementia involves the loss of cognitive abilities and represents a decline from the prior level of function which impairs functional abilities in day-to-day life. No previous experimental research has been done to assess mental imagery (MI) effectiveness in the motor, cognitive and emotional status of individuals with early-stage dementia. One hundred and forty older individuals with early-stage dementia from the Day Care Centre of the Alzheimer Association in Athens will take part in this study. The sample will be randomly divided into three groups: MI and physical exercise (intervention group), only physical exercise (1st control group), and neither MI nor physical exercise (2nd control group). Assessment will be obtained one week prior to the program, in the middle of the program (6th week of the intervention program) and after the end of the program (13th week of the intervention program). Participants of the intervention group will perform a 30-minute MI programme after the end of every physiotherapy session. Reliable and valid instruments will be used to assess the primary outcomes, i.e., balance and functional status as well as the secondary outcomes i.e., cognitive ability, emotional state and quality of life. The two-way Mixed ANOVA with factors ‘intervention’ (between groups) and ‘time’ (within group) will be used as a statistical analysis. Approvals of clinical trial protocol: a) UNIWA Research Committee study protocol approval: 93292 - 26/10/2021. b) ID NCT05232526.