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Arvandi, Marjan; Strasser, Barbara; Volaklis, Konstantinos; Ladwig, Karl-Heinz; Grill, Eva; Matteucci Gothe, Raffaella; Horsch, Alexander; Laxy, Michael; Siebert, Uwe; Peters, Annette; Thorand, Barbara; Meisinger, Christa (2018): Mediator Effect of Balance Problems on Association Between Grip Strength and Falls in Older Adults: Results From the KORA-Age Study. In: Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Vol. 4
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Abstract

Objective: To examine the association between grip strength and history of falls among older individuals, and to assess the possible mediating effect of balance problems on this relationship. Method: Data originate from KORA (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg)-Age Study of 808 individuals (65 years and above). Follow-up assessment occurred 3 years later. Results: The risk of falls within the last 12 months was reduced on average by 3 (odds ratio OR 95% confidence interval 95% CI = 0.97 0.94, 0.99; p value = .026) per 1-kg increase in maximum grip strength after adjusting for age and gender. There was a trend toward an indirect effect of grip strength through the mediator variable balance problems (p value = .043). Discussion: Increased muscular strength is associated with a reduced risk of falls in older age after adjustment for age and gender. The association is partially mediated by balance problems. Thus, in older adults, muscle-strengthening exercises may decrease the risk of falling.