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Grip strength may be a good predictor of the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers studied 139,691 people, ages 35 to 70, in 17 high-, middle- and low-income countries. They gathered data on height, weight, blood pressure, physical activity, dietary intake and other health and behavioral factors.

Adjusted for age and height, average male grip ranged from about 67 to 84 pounds; for women, it ranged from 54 to 62 pounds. The study is in The Lancet.

Over the next four years, 3,379 people died. After controlling for other variables, the scientists calculated that each 11-pound decrease in grip strength was associated with a 17 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death, a 7 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 9 percent increased risk of stroke. There was no association of grip strength with diabetes, pneumonia, falls or fractures, but it was a stronger predictor of all-cause death and of cardiovascular death than systolic blood pressure.

– Nicholas Bakalar

Source: Grip Strength May Predict Heart Attacks and Strokes –