Baseline Lower Extremity Strength and Subsequent Decline in Functional Performance at 6-Year Follow-Up in Persons with Lower Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate associations between baseline lower extremity strength and decline in functional performance over 6 years of follow-up in men and women with lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

DESIGN:

Prospective observational study.

SETTING:

Three Chicago-area hospitals.

PARTICIPANTS:

Three hundred seventy-four men and women with PAD.

MEASUREMENTS:

Baseline isometric hip extension, hip flexion, knee flexion, and knee extension strength were measured using a musculoskeletal fitness evaluation chair. Usual and fastest-paced 4-m walking speed, 6-minute walk, and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) were assessed at baseline and annually thereafter. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, race, ankle–brachial index (ABI), comorbidities, and other confounders.

RESULTS:

In women with PAD, weaker baseline hip and knee flexion strength were associated with faster average annual decline in usual-pace 4-m walking speed (P trend <.001 and .02, respectively) and SPPB (P trend=.02 and .01, respectively). In women, weaker hip extension strength was associated with faster decline in usual-pace 4-m walking speed and SPPB (P trend=.01 and <.01, respectively). There were no significant associations between baseline strength and decline in 6-minute walk in women. There were no significant associations between any baseline strength measure and functional decline in men.

CONCLUSION:

Weaker baseline leg strength is associated with faster functional decline in nonendurance measures of functional performance in women with PAD but not in men with PAD.

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