Relationship between handgrip strength and muscle mass in female survivors of breast cancer: A mediation analysis
This study explored the mediating factors of sarcopenia in a group of women survivors of breast cancer in Bogotá, Colombia. This was a descriptive crosssectional study with 98 women survivors of breast cancer, who were registered with the SIMMON (Integrated Synergies to Improve Oncological Management in Colombia) Foundation. Body weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Body composition (percentage of fat and muscle mass) was evaluated via four-pole bioelectrical impedance analysis. Sarcopenia was defined as low muscle mass plus low grip strength or low gait speed (EWGSOP criteria). A "causal" mediation analysis with the Baron & Kenny procedure (PROCESS® macro) was used to explore variables related to sarcopenia. Analyses were performed with the IBM SPSS 21 statistical package (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA). The significance level of the results obtained in the hypothesis contrast was p < 0.05. The mean age of the sample was 65.5±5.9 years, with a BMI of 27.8±4.7 kg/m2. The prevalence of sarcopenia was 22.4%. Linear regression models suggest a partial mediation of anthropometric parameters (body mass, body mass index and waist circumference) in the association between handgrip strength and muscle mass. In conclusion, one in every five women survivors of breast cancer had sarcopenia. The findings seem to emphasize the importance of obesity prevention in women survivors of breast cancer, suggesting that high handgrip strength may not relate closely to greater muscle mass and therefore would not exclude the risk of sarcopenia.