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Hand grip can indicate Cardiovascular diseases

The Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study is a large, longitudinal population study done in 17 countries of varying incomes and sociocultural settings including countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  The study enrolled an unbiased sample of households, which were eligible if at least one household member was aged 35-70 years and if household members intended to stay at that address for another 4 years. Participants were assessed for grip strength, measured using a Jamar dynamometer.

Between January, 2003, and December, 2009, a total of 142,861 participants were enrolled in the PURE study, of whom 139,691 with known vital status were included in the analysis. During a median follow-up of 4.0 years, 3379 (2%) of 139,691 participants died. After adjustment, the association between grip strength and each outcome, with the exceptions of cancer and hospital admission due to respiratory illness, was similar across country-income strata. Grip strength was inversely associated with all-cause mortality  cardiovascular mortality , non-cardiovascular mortality  myocardial infarction and stroke.

The study concluded that Grip strength was a stronger predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality than systolic blood pressure. The researchers,AA Sayer and TB Kirkwood  found no significant association between grip strength and incident diabetes, risk of hospital admission for pneumonia or COPD, injury from fall, or fracture. In high-income countries, the risk of cancer and grip strength were positively associated, but this association was not found in middle-income and low-income countries.

The study suggests that measurement of grip strength is a simple, inexpensive risk-stratifying method for all-cause death, cardiovascular death, and cardiovascular disease. Further research is needed to identify determinants of muscular strength and to test whether improvement in strength reduces mortality and cardiovascular disease.

This study was published in Lancet Journal

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