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Dynapenia and Low Cognition: A Cross-Sectional Association in Postmenopausal Women

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Dynapenia is a key contributor to physical frailty. Cognitive impairment and dementia accompany frailty, yet links between skeletal muscle and neurocognition are poorly understood. We examined the cross-sectional relationship between lower limb muscle strength and global cognitive function. Participants were 127 women aged 51–87 years, from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study. Peak eccentric strength of the hip-flexors and hip abductors was determined using a hand-held dynamometer, and dynapenia identified as muscle strength t-scores < −1. Cognition was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and MMSE scores below the median were rated as low. Associations between dynapenia and low cognition were examined using logistic regression models. Hip-flexor dynapenia was detected in 38 (71.7%) women with low cognition and 36 (48.7%) with good cognition (p = 0.009); for hip abductor dynapenia, the pattern was similar (21 (39.6%) vs. 9 (12.2%); p < 0.001). While the observed difference for hip-flexor strength was attenuated after adjusting for age and height (adjusted Odds Ratio (OR) 1.95, 95%CI 0.86–4.41), low cognition was nearly 4-fold more likely in association with hip abductor dynapenia (adjusted OR 3.76, 95%CI 1.44–9.83). No other confounders were identified. Our data suggest that low strength of the hip abductors and low cognition are associated and this could be a consequence of poor muscle function contributing to cognitive decline or vice versa. As muscle weakness is responsive to physical interventions, this warrants further investigation.

History

Journal

Journal of Clinical Medicine

Volume

10

Issue

2

Article number

173

Pagination

1 - 7

Publisher

MDPI AG

Location

Basel, Switzerland

ISSN

2077-0383

eISSN

2077-0383

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal