Relationship between handgrip strength and low-grade inflammation in older adults with depression
Kwi Young Kang 1, 2, Young-Eun Jung 3*, Hwan Jang 1, Moon-Doo Kim 3, Won-Myong Bahk 4
1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, 2Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Incheon, 3Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju, 4Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
Received: December 30, 2020; Revised: January 15, 2021; Accepted: January 15, 2021; Published online: January 15, 2021.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Objective: The relationship among physical functional decline, low-grade inflammation, and depression remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the association between hand grip strength (HGS) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in a large sample with depression.
Method: This study used data obtained from a representative Korean sample of 9,402 people who participated in the seventh Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Physical function was assessed using a digital grip strength dynamometer. Depression was identified using a cutoff of 5 on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and high hs-CPR level was defined as ≥ 3.0 mg/L.
Results: In older adults (≥60 years) with depression, 43.8% of those with high hs-CRP levels had low HGS, compared to 21.8% of those with hs-CRP levels <3.0 mg/L (p = 0.002). Multivariate analysis revealed that, after adjustments for potentially confounding factors, high hs-CRP was independently associated with lower HGS (B = –2.25; 95% confidence interval = –4.49 to –0.02) in older adults with depression, but not in younger or middle-aged adults with depression.
Conclusions: These findings suggest a significant correlation between physical functional decline and low-grade inflammation in older adults with depression.
Keywords: Hand grip strength, C-reactive protein, PHQ-9, Depression, Inflammation, Older adults