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Ostermeier, Tamara; Faust, Leon; Cavalcanti-Kußmaul, Adrian; Kammerlander, Christian; Knobe, Matthias; Böcker, Wolfgang; Saller, Maximilian M.; Neuerburg, Carl; Keppler, Alexander M. (2023): The influence of vitamin D on handgrip strength in elderly trauma patients. European Journal of Medical Research, 28 (1). ISSN 2047-783X

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Background and objectives
The treatment of elderly patients is an increasing challenge and the long-term sequelae often affect activities of daily living and quality of life in those patients. Handgrip strength (HGS) appears as a promising value to predict the outcome after trauma in elderly patients and to assess the overall muscle strength. Besides the possible role of psychological and hormonal factors, vitamin D may have a positive influence. Furthermore, some data suggest that Vitamin D is beneficial regarding muscle strength and possibly prevents further falls and injuries in orthogeriatric patients. The purpose of this study was to identify if Vitamin D is an influencing factor for HGSin elderly trauma patients.

Materials and methods
94 elderly patients in a Level I Trauma Center aged 60 years or older were prospectively enrolled and HGS as well as serum 25-OH Vitamin D concentration (VDC) were measured. In addition, the standardized questionnaires Barthel Index (BI), Parker Mobility Score (PMS), Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Strength, Assistance with walking, Rise from a chair, Climb stairs and Falls (SARC-F) and European Quality of Life 5 Dimensions 5 Levels Questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L), were used to record mental health status and demographic data.

HGS is mainly related to age and sex in elderly trauma patients. HGS was higher in men (meanmale = 27.31 kg (± 8.11), meanfemale = 15.62 kg (± 5.63), p < 0.001 and decreased with age (βage = − 0.58, p < 0.001). A significant negative correlation between HGS and VDC exists in the overall sample (βVDC = − 0.27, pVDC < 0.008), which still remains after adjusting for age (pVDC < 0.004), but is not significant after adjustment for both main confounders, age and sex (pVDC < 0.08). Furthermore, the HGS was lower in pateints who reported frequent falls, stumbling, dizziness or a late onset of menopause, and decreased if patients felt anxious or depressed during measurements (βanxiety+depression = − 0.26, panxiety+depression < 0.01).

These results do not support the hypothesis that Vitamin D has a positive influence on muscle strength measured by HGS. Nevertheless, this study could confirm the usefulness of HGS as a tool to detect the risk for frequent falls or stumbling. Furthermore, HGS seems to be associated with dizziness and age at onset of menopause. A significant decrease of HGS could also be shown in patients with anxiety and depression. This underlines the importance of interdisciplinary treatment of elderly trauma patients and needs to be taken into account for further studies, as especially the psychological motivation seems to have a significant influence and is sometimes not considered enough in elderly musculo-skeletal patients.

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