Grip strength may predict future heart health issues
Here’s an interesting article by Joel Kahn author of the “whole heart solution” about a study published recently about a new method used to monitor potential future heart health issues.
Getting a Grip on Heart Health
I am fascinated by offbeat clues to the presence and significance of heart disease. A death due to cardiovascular disease occurs every 45 seconds and any and all tools to prevent it are welcome. I have written before here about my campaign to prevent one million heart attacks. Findings like earlobe creases, central balding, erectile dysfunction, and exertional leg pain can lead to the diagnosis of heart disease and life saving therapies. But who would anticipate that grip strength would predict future heart deaths? Or that grip strength exercises using isometrics are an effective therapy for elevated blood pressure?
In terms of grip strength and heart outcome, researchers assessed whether this simple and inexpensive evaluation could predict future cardiac and deaths. In the Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study 139,691 subjects aged 35-70 years had an assessment of grip strength, measured using a dynamometer and were followed for 4 years. Grip strength was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, heart attacks, and stroke! A big surprise was that grip strength was a stronger predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality than systolic blood pressure which is the focus of so much treatment. While the mechanism by which hand grip strength impacts outcome is not clear, it has been proposed that it is a marker of overall muscular strength and biological age…