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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 580863, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/580863
Clinical Study

Vascular Function and Handgrip Strength in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

1Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Allied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan
2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan
3Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Science and Arts, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan
4Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid 22110, Jordan
5Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, King Abdulla Hospital, Irbid 22110, Jordan
6Department of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Received 11 October 2011; Accepted 17 November 2011

Academic Editors: A. W. Baltzer, G. Onder, and R. SanmartΓ­

Copyright Β© 2012 Mahmoud A. Alomari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To examine the relationship of handgrip strength with forearm blood flow (BF) and vascular resistance (VR) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Methods. Forearm BF at rest (RBF) and after upper arm occlusion (RHBF), and handgrip strength were examined in 78 individuals ( R A = 4 2 and controls ( C T ) = 3 6 ). Subsequently, VR at rest (RVR) and after occlusion (RHVR) were calculated. Results. The patients’ RBF ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 2 ) and RHBF ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ) were less, whereas RVR ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 2 ) and RHVR ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ) were greater as compared to the CTs. Similarly, handgrip strength was lower in the RAs ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ). Finally, handgrip strength was directly associated with RBF ( π‘Ÿ = 0 . 4 3 ; 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ), and RHBF ( π‘Ÿ = 0 . 5 ; 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ), and inversely related to RVR ( π‘Ÿ = βˆ’ 0 . 3 ; 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 9 ) and RHVR ( π‘Ÿ = βˆ’ 0 . 3 ; 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 7 ). Conclusion. The present study uniquely identifies an association between regional measures of forearm blood flow and handgrip strength in patients and healthy control. In addition, this study confirms the presence of vascular and muscle dysfunction in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as evidenced by lower forearm blood flow indices, at rest and following occlusion, and lower handgrip strength as compared to healthy individuals.