Sensitivity and specificity of hand grip strength as a risk discriminator for multimorbidities in the elderly

Abstract Objective Select through sensitivity and specificity the best cutoffs for hand grip strength as a risk discriminator for presence of multimorbidities in the elderly. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted with 310 elderly individuals aged ≥60 years, of both genders, living in the municipality of Ibicuí, Bahia state, Brazil. Hand grip strength as a risk discriminator for presence of multimorbidities was identified by analysis of the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves with 95% confidence interval. Subsequently, the cutoff points with their respective sensitivity and specificity values were identified. Results The total area under the ROC curve between hand grip strength and presence of multimorbidities was 0.59, 95% CI (0.52-0.67) for women and 0.58, 95% CI (0.50-0.67) for men. The best cutoff points to discriminate presence of multimorbidities were 15.35 kgf (69.7% sensitivity and 52.2% specificity) and 24.8 kgf (49.5% sensitivity and 68.4% specificity) for women and men, respectively. Conclusion Results suggest that hand grip strength may be used as a risk discriminator for presence of multimorbidities in the elderly.