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Strong or Weak Handgrip? Normative Reference Values for the German Population across the Life Course Stratified by Sex, Age, and Body Height

Kiechl, Stefan and Steiber, Nadia (2016) Strong or Weak Handgrip? Normative Reference Values for the German Population across the Life Course Stratified by Sex, Age, and Body Height. PLoS ONE, 11 (10). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Handgrip strength is an important biomarker of healthy ageing and a powerful predictor of future morbidity and mortality both in younger and older populations. Therefore, the measurement of handgrip strength is increasingly used as a simple but efficient screening tool for health vulnerability. This study presents normative reference values for handgrip strength in Germany for use in research and clinical practice. It is the first study to provide normative data across the life course that is stratified by sex, age, and body height. The study used a nationally representative sample of test participants ages 17-90. It was based on pooled data from five waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel (2006-2014) and involved a total of 11,790 persons living in Germany (providing 25,285 observations). Handgrip strength was measured with a Smedley dynamometer. Results showed that peak mean values of handgrip strength are reached in men's and women's 30s and 40s after which handgrip strength declines in linear fashion with age. Following published recommendations, the study used a cut-off at 2 SD below the sex-specific peak mean value across the life course to define a "weak grip". Less than 10% of women and men aged 65-69 were classified as weak according to this definition, shares increasing to about half of the population aged 80-90. Based on survival analysis that linked handgrip strength to a relevant outcome, however, a "critically weak grip" that warrants further examination was estimated to commence already at 1 SD below the group-specific mean value.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no ERC2012-AdG 323947-Re-Ageing. The funders had no role in study design, data collection or analysis. Data Availability: Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) are made available for scientific research by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). Contact: soepmail@diw.de.
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Sozialpolitik > Demographie > Wittgenstein Centre
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: Mohammad Al Hessan
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 13:58
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 18:35
Related URLs:
URI: http://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/5929

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