Your Future Health Literally Rests on the Palm of Your Hand
A new research is suggesting that the state of your health in the future is literally in the palm of your hands. Researchers from the Lancet found out that measuring a person’s grip strength is better an even more accurate than checking blood pressure to predict future risk.
Grip strength and health
The international team looked at over 140,000 adults around the age of 35 to 70 and tested the strength of their grip. They then closely monitored their health over the course of four years. What they found was that every 11-pund decrease in a person’s gripping strength meant a sixteen percent increase of death form any cause.
The findings were consistent even when taking in other factors of an individual health that may affect health risks. These include age, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and the level of physical activity that the individual does.
Additionally, the decrease is tied to an increase in heart-related diseases and death, noting that such a decrease in grip strength raises heart risk by seventeen percent. Researchers from the Lancet note that grip strength is a strong predictor of premature death, compared to the more popular method of using systolic blood pressure readings.
Predicting the future
Although the study was not exactly made to show a relation between grip strength and risks such as heart attack, strokes, and early death, the findings are clear that it is an accurate way of predicting the aforementioned risks. Many, however, are finding it a more inexpensive method to checking for risks.
Dr. Darryl Leon from the Population Health Research at Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University in Canada said that ‘Grip strength could be an easy and inexpensive test to assess an individual’s risk of death and cardiovascular disease.’ He also notes that there should be ‘further research’ to find out if increasing muscle strength can actually help reduce a person’s risk of heart diseases and early death.
Currently, it is not known if a weak grip can immediately mean that an individual’s cardiovascular health is at risk, but the researchers are seeing the correlations between the two. Doireann Maddock, from the British Heart Foundation reiterated this sentiment further by stating that while the findings of the study are interesting ‘it doesn’t explain why grip strength should be related to cardiovascular disease.’
Despite this, older studies show how consistent reduced muscular strength is with risks like disability, heart diseases and early death.