Posted on Apr 08, 2016, 6 a.m.
Large-scale study reports that weak grip strength is linked with shorter survival and a greater risk of cardiovascular incidents.
Previous studies have suggested that reduced muscular strength, as can be measured by hand-grip strength, maybe linked to early death, disability, and illness. The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study investigators analyzed data collected on 139,691 adults, ages 35 to 70 years, residing in 17 countries, and followed them for an average of four years – measuring hand-grip strength regularly through the study period. Data analysis revealed that every 5 kg declining grip strength associated with a 16% increase in risk of death from any cause, a 17% greater risk of cardiovascular death, and a 17% higher risk of non-cardiovascular mortality. Notably, heart attack risk rose by 7%, and stroke risk by 9%. In particular, a low grip strength was linked with higher death rates in people who develop cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular diseases, suggesting that muscle strength may predict the risk of death the people who develop a major illness. The study authors report that: "This study suggests that measurement of grip strength is a simple, inexpensive risk-stratifying method for all-cause death, cardiovascular death, and cardiovascular disease."
Darryl P Leong, Koon K Teo, Sumathy Rangarajan, Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo, Alvaro Avezum, Andres Orlandini, et al. “Prognostic value of grip strength: findings from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study,” The Lancet, May 13, 2015.