Your hand grip is not just for social and sports activities, but it is now the low-tech method of testing your heart disease risk. This may sound ridiculous, but a study confirms that having a poor grip can be a sign that you have a high chance of having a major illness or even a premature death, often courtesy of a heart ailment. Evidence asserts that grip strength can help identify the individuals who have raised odds of cardiovascular incidents.
According to the authors of the study, they wanted to check how the muscle or gripping strength can predict whether a person could die due to certain illnesses in several countries around the world. The study involved almost 140,000 people from 17 countries and they were all tracked to see how they would fare for four years. It was discovered that there is a high chance of dying within four years for people who have weak grips because of stroke or heart attack.
Grip Test vs Other Tests
The grip test, also known as muscle strength test, is considered better than using blood pressure monitor, particularly for systolic BP in predicting death from any cause. However, the blood pressure test is still dominant when it comes to determining whether a person will have a stroke or a heart attack.
Nevertheless, grip tests can be a super easy and quick method of assessing your chances of having a cardiovascular disease and/or if you would die because of the disease. The study does not tell though if the reason for this is due to weak muscle because of the disease or the other way around.
Although the grip test seems to help, this does not mean it will replace other standard protocols for determining whether a person has cardiovascular disease or not. These protocols often rely on several risk assessment tests and methods, including coronary angiography and electrocardiogram or ECG. Still, the proponents of the study believe that the test is useful in several parts of the world where medical resources have limited access.
How Strong is Your Grip?
According to the findings of the study those who lost at least 10 pounds of grip strength had 16% of increased risk of dying within four years. These people had 17% chance of dying because of stroke or heart attack, while seven percent may die due to other causes.
It is not clear why grip strength has a clear relationship with heart disease and other illnesses. The experts in the study suggest it may be due to the age-related changes that affect the musculoskeletal system.