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Get a Grip

A recent study suggests that your hand strength may help to indicate your risk of heart disease.

Grip Strength

Your hand strength might be an indicator of your risk for cardiovascular problems.

According to a 2015 study published in The Lancet, grip strength is better than blood pressure at predicting your probability of heart-health problems.

Over four years, researchers at Ontario’s McMaster University tracked 140,000 people aged 35 to 70 living in 17 countries and found that weak hand-grip strength was a red flag for poor heart health.

Using a hand dynamometer for testing, researchers discovered that for each 11-pound decrease in grip strength, individuals had a 17 percent greater risk of cardiovascular death, 9 percent greater risk of stroke, and 7 percent greater risk of heart attack.

“Even after accounting for factors such as nutrition, physical-activity levels, and other medical conditions, hand-grip strength remains an important predictor of the risk of death and cardiovascular disease,” says Darryl Leong, PhD, assistant professor of medicine.

Leong believes grip strength is simply a reflection of overall strength, so he recommends “general exercise — not only restricted to the grip! — that includes both aerobic and strength training.”

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