This telltale sign of heart trouble is even more significant than high blood pressure …
(Johanna Leggatt, The New Daily) Mounting evidence suggests grip strength is a handy way to measure a person’s risk for having a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular disease, and it may even hold the clues for a healthy heart.
Professor Bronwyn Kingwell from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute says grip strength indicates health in a number of ways.
“It can highlight not only how fit and healthy someone is, but also their genetic susceptibility to metabolic risks and diseases,” she says.
This is because grip strength is a handy measure for muscular strength.
When correlated with total muscle strength, grip strength is a useful indicator for overall health assessment in older adults, experts say.
In a landmark study, scientists found that grip strength was better at predicting cardiovascular death than a person’s level of physical activity or systolic blood pressure.
In the 2015 study, the researchers analyzed the medical records of nearly 140,000 people aged between 40 and 70 during a four-year period.
They found that weak grip strength was linked to higher rates of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular-related deaths and stroke.
“We think that [grip strength] reflects the sum of all of the healthy or unhealthy behaviors that you’ve engaged in throughout the course of your life,” lead researcher Dr Darryl Leong said.
A weak grip may also signal a metabolic disorder.
Physiotherapist Russell Dalton, from Employ Health, says people with low grip strength typically have problems with diabetes and congestive heart failure.
In a 2017 study, Chinese and US researchers found that grip strength could predict a person’s risk of developing metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, in middle or older age.
“But I think it’s important to remember that low grip strength doesn’t mean you’re going to die. It merely indicates there may be further problems that require investigation,” Dalton says. Read the full story at The New Daily. Also of interest: Sex Rarely Causes Hearts To Stop: Study