Grip strength measurement is a quick and inexpensive way to stratify an individual’s risk of all-cause mortality, and can be a strong predictor of cardiovascular mortality and a moderately strong predictor of incident cardiovascular disease, according to new research in The Lancet.
In a large, longitudinal population study, nearly 140,000 participants identified from the Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study were examined during 2003-2009. Grip strength was measured via handgrip dynamometer.
After adjustment, grip strength was inversely associated with all-cause mortality (hazard ratio per 5-kg reduction in grip strength 1.16), cardiovascular mortality (1.17), noncardiovascular mortality (1.17), myocardial infarction (1.07), and stroke (1.09). The results were highly statistically significant and largely similar across various socioeconomic groups, although risk of cancer and grip strength were positively associated more often among patients in higher-income countries than in middle- and lower-income countries, reported Dr. Darryl P. Leong of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., and his colleagues.
The researchers also attempted to assess the prognostic value of grip strength on other medical conditions, but “found no significant association” between grip strength and incident diabetes and no association between grip strength and risk of hospital admission for pneumonia or COPD, injury from fall, or fracture.
“Our study suggests that measurement of grip strength is a simple, inexpensive risk-stratifying method to assess risk of death, particularly in individuals who develop a major illness, and that muscle strength is a risk marker for incident cardiovascular disease in a number of countries and populations,” the investigators wrote.
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