Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Respiratory and peripheral muscle strength are reduced in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is a well-known correlation between handgrip strength (HGS) and strenght extremity muscles. Our aim in this study was to measure HGS and investigate the related factors in COPD patients with exacerbation.Materials and methods: Subjects with COPD exacerbation (n = 101) and stable COPD (n = 22), and subjects without COPD (n = 201), were enrolled in this study. Age, sex, and body mass index were similar. HGS was measured using a Vigorimeter. Pulmonary function tests and 6-min walk tests were performed.Results: The mean HGS was significantly lower in subjects with COPD exacerbation than those with stable COPD and subjects without COPD. The mean HGS was similar between stable COPD and non-COPD subjects. The mean 6-min walk distance (6MWD) was significantly lower in subjects with COPD exacerbation than stable COPD. There was a significant correlation between HGS and 6MWD but no correlation between HGS and pulmonary function tests.Conclusion: In subjects with COPD exacerbation, the HGS was lower than that of stable COPD patients, and this difference was not explained by age, comorbidities, severity of obstruction, or smoking. Physical inactivity and steroid use during exacerbation might be possible factors affecting HGS. HGS was moderately correlated with 6MWD in cases of exacerbation. It may be used as a measure of muscle performance in COPD exacerbation, especially when the 6-min walk test cannot be performed


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hand grip strength, 6-min walk distance, exacerbation, muscle strength

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