Grip strength may help indicate heart problems
The strength of a person's grip may indicate how likely they are to suffer heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems, according to a new report.
After studying the results of nearly 140,000 patients in 17 countries, researchers estimated that the surprising link - theorised before but not confirmed in such a large study - is real and may be an even more accurate predictor of mortality risk than systolic blood pressure.
Grip strength is measured using a device called a handgrip dynamometer. For every 5kg decline in strength, researchers from the McMaster University in Canada observed a 17% greater risk of death from cardiovascular causes - diseases of the heart and circulatory system.
Experts behind the study said that grip strength could potentially be used as a low-cost early warning system to identify patients at high risk.
The findings are published in The Lancet medical journal today.