People with weaker muscles are 50 percent more likely to die earlier, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
According to researchers, muscle strength may be an even more important predictor of overall health and longevity than muscle mass.
‘Maintaining muscle strength and hand grip strength throughout life, especially in later life is extremely necessary for longevity and aging independently.’
In addition, hand grip strength specifically has been found to be inversely related to mobility limitations and disability.
However, despite being a relatively simple and cost-effective test, grip strength measurement is not currently part of most routine physicals, they said.
"Maintaining muscle strength throughout life-and especially in later life is extremely important for longevity and aging independently," said lead researcher Kate Duchowny, a post-doctoral student at the University of California-San Francisco.
The study highlights the importance of integrating grip strength measurements into routine care-not just for older adults but even in midlife.
"Having hand grip strength be an integral part of routine care would allow for earlier interventions, which could lead to increased longevity and independence for individuals," said Duchowny.
For the study, the team analyzed data from 8,326 men and women, aged 65 and older.
After adjusting for socio-demographic factors, chronic health conditions and smoking history, the results showed that people with low muscle strength are 50 percent more likely to die earlier.