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Heart drugs 'damage grip strength in older people'

By Lilian Anekwe

The use of some cardiovascular drugs is associated with reduced grip strength in older people, UK researchers have found.

Furosemide was associated with average decreases in grip strength of 3.15 kg among men and 2.35 kg among women after adjustment for age and height, both of which were statistically significant.

Nitrates also reduced grip strength by 1.84 kg among men and 3.66 kg among women. Calcium channel blockers and fibrates were associated with reduced grip among women.

The results - published online in Age and Ageing journal - were all drawn from 1,572 men and 1,415 women aged 59 to 73, 45% of whom were taking a cardiovascular drug.

The researchers speculated that cardiovascular drugs might adversely affect muscle strength.

Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Southampton, concluded: ‘These findings have potential implications for the functional ability of older people treated with these drugs.'

Age and Ageing 2009 online 17 December

Cardiovascular drugs reduce grip strength in the elderly says a new study

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