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The strength of your heart is determined by the strength of your grip

by , 18 May 2015

Does it feel like a “dead fish” when someone shakes your hand?

Do you battle to open Coke bottles something you always prided yourself of being able to do?

Watch out! It could mean BIG trouble for your heart!

A new large international study has associated weak grip strength with increased risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as increased risk of death from both cardiovascular AND non-cardiovascular disease…

In fact, every time your grip gets weaker, it increases your risks of the heart problems above.

To find out more, keep reading…

Study shows you hold the secrets of your future health in the palms of your hands – LITERALLY!
 

Lead investigator Dr Darryl Leong, of the Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University in Canada, and his colleagues published their findings in UK medical journal The Lancet.
 
Based on their findings, the team says you can use a grip strength test as a rapid, low-cost screening tool to determine your risk of severe illnesses and death.
 
Previous studies have linked reduced muscular strength (as determined by your grip strength) to greater risk of health conditions, disability and premature death. But researchers from this new study say few past studies have provided data on how grip specifically may be a predictor of disease prognosis. 
 
They add that many past studies also only focused on high-income countries.
 
For their research, Dr Leong and colleagues analysed data of 139,691 adults between 35 and 70 years old who were part of The Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. 
 
Participants came from 17 different low- and high-income countries, including Canada, Sweden, India and Poland. Researchers followed each of them for an average of four years. During this time, they measured participants’ grip strength using a handgrip dynamometer.
 
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Every 5kg reduction in your grip strength increases your risk of dying of heart problems by 17%!
 

Researchers found that for every 5kg reduction in grip strength, participants were at a 16% higher risk of all-cause death, 17% higher risk of cardiovascular death and 17% higher risk of non-cardiovascular death.
 
They also linked every 5kg reduction in grip strength with a 9% higher risk of stroke and a 7% higher risk of heart attack.
 
Among participants who developed cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular disease, researchers linked low grip strength to a greater risk of death. The team says this indicates that grip strength can predict mortality risk among people with severe illness.
 
Dr Leong adds that the findings remained the same even after accounting for factors like age, education level, employment status, activity levels, smoking status and alcohol use. 
 
Commenting on the results of the study, he says: “Grip strength could be an easy and inexpensive test to assess an individual’s risk of death and cardiovascular disease. Further researcher is needed to establish whether efforts to improve muscle strength are likely to reduce an individual’s risk of death and cardiovascular disease.”
 
But it’s important to keep in mind that a loss of grip strength is unlikely to lie on a single final common pathway for the adverse effects of ageing. It’s a nifty way to determine your future health nonetheless… So why not test your grip strength?

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