The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 952–958 | Cite as

Respiratory Muscle Strength as a Discriminator of Sarcopenia in Community-Dwelling Elderly: A Cross-Sectional Study

  • Daniela Gonçalves OharaEmail author
  • M. S. Pegorari
  • N. L. Oliveira dos Santos
  • C. de Fátima Ribeiro Silva
  • R. L. Monteiro
  • A. P. Matos
  • M. Jamami



To compare the values obtained from maximum respiratory pressures (MRP) between sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic elderly; to verify the association of maximum respiratory pressures with sarcopenia and its indicators; and to establish cut-off points for MRP as a discriminator of sarcopenia.


Cross-sectional study.


Macapá, Brazil.


Community-dwelling elderly ≥ 60 years old, both sexes.


Evaluation of respiratory muscle strength (maximal inspiratory pressure - MIP and maximal expiratory pressure - MEP) and sarcopenia, according to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP), in which the diagnosis of this condition considered the reduction of muscle mass (muscle mass index - MMI) associated with muscle strength reduction (hand grip strength - HGS) and / or impairment in physical performance (gait speed - GS).


The sample consisted of 383 elderly individuals, with a mean age of 70.02 ± 7.3 years and a prevalence of sarcopenia of 12.53% (n = 48). Sarcopenic individuals presented significantly lower (obtained, obtained versus predicted) mean values for the maximal respiratory pressures compared to the non-sarcopenic elderly, and these were inversely associated with sarcopenia (an increase by 1 cmH2O in MIP and MEP reduced by 5% and 3%, respectively, the probability of sarcopenia). In relation to the association with the sarcopenia indicators, the increase by 1 cmH2O in MIP and MEP decreased, respectively, the probability of decreasing muscle strength (3% and 2%), GS (3% and 4%) and MMI (3 % - MIP). Cut-off points ≤60 cmH2O and ≤50 cmH2O for MEP and ≤55 cmH2O and ≤45 cmH2O for MEP, respectively for elderly men and women, served as a discriminant criterion for the presence of sarcopenia (area under the ROC curve superior to 0.70).


Elderly patients with sarcopenia had lower MIP and MEP values when compared to non-sarcopenic individuals, and respiratory muscle strength was inversely associated with the diagnosis of sarcopenia and its indicators (HGS, gait speed and MMI). Furthermore, cut-off points for MIP and MEP can be used in clinical practice as discriminators of sarcopenia in community-dwelling elderly.

Key words

Sarcopenia muscle strength respiratory muscles respiratory function tests aged 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Gonçalves Ohara
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. S. Pegorari
    • 1
  • N. L. Oliveira dos Santos
    • 1
  • C. de Fátima Ribeiro Silva
    • 1
  • R. L. Monteiro
    • 1
  • A. P. Matos
    • 1
  • M. Jamami
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidade Federal do AmapaMacapáBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Sao CarlosSao CarlosBrazil

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