Background/Objectives: We investigated whether C-reactive protein (CRP) as indicator of acute inflammation is associated with maximal isometric handgrip strength in non-critically ill patients.
Subjects/Methods: Handgrip strength was measured with Jamar dynamometer in 620 hospitalized patients (56.4±15.9 years old, 52.3% men). CRP was measured with immunoturbidimetric assay. Fat free mass (FFM) was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis. A general linear model regression analysis corrected for confounding variables such as age, sex, FFM, body mass index, comorbidity count and diagnosis category (malignant/benign disease) was performed to test the association between elevated levels of CRP and handgrip strength.
Results: CRP was an independent predictor of grip strength (CRP: β-coefficient: -0.169, P=0.018) even after adjustment for relevant confounders. All groups with inflammation showed significant reduction in handgrip strength, corresponding to a loss of ∼1.6 kg in mild inflammation, 3.2 kg in moderate inflammation and 2.9 kg in severe inflammation compared with patients without inflammation.
Discussion: Our data demonstrate the independent association between inflammation and handgrip strength in non-critically ill patients. If not corrected, reduced strength may have implications for the patients' functional status and prognosis. Increasing physical activity and resistance training during convalescence are recommended.