Handgrip Strength Cut-Off Values for the Undernutrition Risk Screening among Elderly Men and Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Objectives: To determine the optimal cut-off points of handgrip strength (HGS) to identify the undernutrition risk among individuals older than 65 years of age in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Towns of Sarajevo, Foca, Rogatica, and Pale in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants: 300 community-dwelling older adults and 146 nursing home residents. Comprehensive Geriatric multidimensional assessment (CGA) was carried out to evaluate general health, functional, and cognitive capabilities. Nutritional status and undernutrition risk were assessed by Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and Seniors in the Community: risk evaluation for eating and nutrition, version II (SCREEN II). HGS was measured with a Smedley dynamometer. Results: According to the classification of nutritional status by MNA, 42% of community-dwelling men and 39% of community-dwelling women were at undernutrition risk. The undernutrition risk was significantly higher among nursing home residing men (89%) and women (78%) (p < 0.001). When nutritional status was assessed by SCREEN II, 100% on nursing home residents, 86% of community-dwelling men and 80% of women were identified as having a high risk for undernutrition. Per MNA, HGS cut-off thresholds were 23.50 kgF (65-74 years) and 19.50 kgF (≥75 years) for men; 15.50 kgF (65-74 years) and 13.50 kgF (≥75 years) for women. Per SCREEN II, cut-points were 28.50 kgF (65-74 years) and 24.50 kgF (≥75 years) for men; 24.50 kgF (65-74 years), 19.50 kgF (≥75 years for women). Conclusion: HGS can be a useful instrument to identify undernutrition risk among the elderly patients. This study provides threshold for men and women older than 65 years of age in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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