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  1. Park, Kyue-nam PhD, PT
  2. Kim, Si-hyun PhD, PT


Introduction: Obesity is related to a high risk of chronic diseases and increased rate of morbidity. This study was performed to compare grip strength, gait speed, and quality of life among obese, overweight, and nonobese older adult women.


Methods: The study population consisted of 62 older adult women older than 65 years. The subjects were classified according to body mass index (BMI) as obese (BMI >=25 kg/m2; n = 25), overweight (BMI 23-24.9 kg/m2; n = 13), or nonobese (BMI 18.5-22.9 kg/m2; n = 24). Grip strength and gait speed were measured, and quality of life was determined according to the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire. One-way analysis of variance with Bonferroni's post hoc analysis was used to analyze the differences in grip strength, gait speed, and SF-36 score among the 3 groups.


Results: There were significant differences in grip strength (F = 8.053, P = .001) and gait speed (F = 4.850, P = .011), but not in the physical (F = 2.194, P = .121) and mental (F = 1.247, P = .295) composite of the SF-36, among the 3 groups. The obese group showed significantly lower grip strength and slow gait speed compared with the overweight and nonobese groups.


Conclusions: Obesity in older women has a negative impact on grip strength and gait speed. Grip strength and gait speed reflect health status in older adults, and the findings presented here suggest that grip strength and gait speed should be considered for obesity management in older women.