Powerless handshake: study shows an increased risk of heart attack

Powerless handshake: study shows an increased risk of heart attack

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Handshake is an indication of the risk of stroke and heart attack

The handshake reveals a lot about a person. According to a recent Canadian study, this also applies to health. The research team led by Dr. According to Darryl Leong of McMaster University's Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, “associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality”.

The grip strength of the handshake is, according to the Canadian scientists, a thoroughly reliable indicator of the risk of fatal cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. According to the researchers, the risk of a heart attack or stroke in particular is related to a decrease in grip strength. The measurement of the gripping force could provide important information for the identification of risk patients and for early diagnosis. The scientists published the results of their study in the renowned specialist magazine "The Lancet".

Handshake examined by 140,000 people
For their study, the scientists used the data from around 140,000 participants from the so-called PURE study. The subjects came from 17 different countries, their ages ranged from 35 to 70 years. The researchers observed the health of the study participants over a period of four years. The gripping force was measured using a so-called "Jamar dynamometer". The researchers then examined possible correlations between grip strength and overall mortality, cardiovascular mortality, non-cardiovascular mortality and the risk of heart attack, stroke, pneumonia or other respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma or tuberculosis.

Mortality with decreasing grip strength increased significantly
The scientists observed a clear connection between the strength of the handshake and the overall mortality. For every five kilograms of reduction in grip strength, overall mortality has increased by 16.95 percent, Leong and colleagues write. The risk of a heart attack showed an increase of seven percent for every five kilograms of grip strength reduction and the risk of a stroke increased by nine percent, the researchers continued. No significant correlations were found with regard to the risk of diabetes and the risk of hospitalization due to pneumonia or COPD. “Overall, grip strength was a stronger predictor of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality than systolic blood pressure,” concluded the Canadian research team. The results would also last if other factors were taken into account, such as tobacco and alcohol consumption or educational level.

Handshake test for risk assessment?
The scientists conclude that “measuring the gripping force enables a simple, inexpensive assessment of the risk of cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack or stroke”. Now "further research is needed to investigate the connection between the diminishing muscle strength when shaking hands and the various diseases" and to check whether "an improvement in grip strength reduces mortality and cardiovascular diseases." (Fp)

Proof: Jorma Bork / pixelio.de

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Video: Strength of a handshake could predict heart attack risk