HealthDay News — Mid upper arm circumference is an independent predictor of survival in older adults with cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Kentaro Kamiya, PT, PhD, from Kitasato University Hospital in Sagamihara, Japan, and colleagues compared the prognostic predictive capabilities of arm circumference and calf circumference in 599 older patients (≥65 years) with CVD. Muscle function was measured using gait speed and grip strength.

Over a median of 1.63 years of follow up, 72 deaths occurred. The researchers found that high arm circumference and high calf circumference both were associated with better outcome; however, only arm circumference, not calf circumference, showed significant independent prognostic capability after adjusting for other prognostic factors (adjusted hazard ratio per SD increase: 0.56 [P =.023] and 0.91 [P =.696], respectively). Adding arm circumference to muscle function, but not calf circumference to muscle functino, significantly increased the area under the curve on receiver operating characteristic curve (P =.005 and .188, respectively).

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“A high arm circumference, but not calf circumference, was an independent predictor of survival and could be a readily available and simple metric for risk stratification in older patients with CVD,” the researchers wrote.

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  1. Kamiya K, Masuda T, Matsue Y, et al. Prognostic usefulness of arm and calf circumference in patients ≥65 years of age with cardiovascular disease. Am J Cardiol. 2017;119(2):186-191. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.09.040.