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Grip strength performance from 9431 participants of the GenoFit study: normative data and associated factors
GeroScience  (IF7.713),  Pub Date : 2021-07-02, DOI: 10.1007/s11357-021-00410-5
Jedd Pratt, Giuseppe De Vito, Marco Narici, Ricardo Segurado, Jackie Dolan, Judith Conroy, Colin Boreham

Weak grip strength is a strong predictor of multiple adverse health outcomes and an integral diagnostic component of sarcopenia. However, the limited availability of normative data for certain populations impedes the interpretation of grip performance across adulthood. This study aimed to establish normative data and low grip strength thresholds in a large adult population, and to examine associations between grip strength and clinically relevant health variables. A total of 9431 adults aged between 18 and 92 years participated in this study (mean age: 44.8 ± 13.4 years; 57% females). Grip strength, body composition, and cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness were assessed using hand dynamometry, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and physical work capacity tests, respectively. Low grip strength was established according to criteria of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Normative data and t-scores, stratified by sex and age groups, are presented. Grip performance was associated with lean mass, skeletal muscle index (SMI), fat mass, CR fitness, bone mineral density (BMD), android/gynoid ratio, disease prevalence and physical activity levels (all p < 0.001) after controlling for multiple potential confounders. Individuals with weak grip strength had lower lean mass, SMI, CR fitness (all p < 0.001) and BMD (p = 0.001), and higher disease prevalence (p < 0.001), compared to healthy controls, although sex-specific differences were observed. Grip strength has practical screening utility across a range of health domains. The normative data and grip strength thresholds established in this study can guide the clinical interpretation of grip performance and facilitate timely therapeutic strategies targeting sarcopenia.