Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH 2017 07 16() doi 10.1111/tmi.12929
Low grip strength is a marker of frailty and a risk factor for mortality among HIV patients and other populations. We investigated factors associated with grip strength in malnourished HIV patients at referral to ART, and at 12 weeks and 2-3 years after starting ART.
The study involved HIV-infected Zambian and Tanzanian participants recruited to the NUSTART trial when malnourished (body mass index <18.5 kg/m(2) ) and requiring ART. The relationship of grip strength to nutritional, infectious and demographic factors was assessed by multivariable linear regression at referral for ART (n=1742) and after 12 weeks (n=778) and 2-3 years of ART (n=273). RESULTS
In analyses controlled only for sex, age and height, most nutrition and infection-related variables were associated with grip strength. However, in multivariable analyses, consistent associations were seen for fat-free mass index, mid-upper arm circumference, haemoglobin and systolic blood pressure, and a variable association with fat mass index in men. C-reactive protein and CD4 count had limited independent effects on grip strength, while receiving tuberculosis treatment was associated with weaker grip strength.
In this population of originally malnourished HIV patients, poor grip strength was more strongly and independently associated with nutritional than with infection and inflammation variables. Programmes to improve health and survival of HIV patients should incorporate nutritional assessment and management and could use grip strength as a functional indicator of improving nutrition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.