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The association of grip strength from midlife onwards with all-cause and cause-specific mortality over 17\hspace0.25emyears of follow-up in the Tromso Study.

Cooper, Rachel and Strand, BH and Cooper, R and Bergland, A and Jørgensen, L and Schirmer, H and Skirbekk, V and Emaus, N (2016) The association of grip strength from midlife onwards with all-cause and cause-specific mortality over 17\hspace0.25emyears of follow-up in the Tromso Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70. pp. 1214-1221. ISSN 0143-005X

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Abstract

Background Grip strength has consistently been found to predict all-cause mortality rates. However, few studies have examined cause-specific mortality or tested age differences in these associations. Methods In 1994, grip strength was measured in the population-based Tromsø Study, covering the ages 50–80 years (N=6850). Grip strength was categorised into fifths, and as z-scores. In this cohort study, models with all-cause mortality and deaths from specific causes as the outcome were performed, stratified by sex and age using Cox regression, adjusting for lifestyle-related and health-related factors. Results During 17 years of follow-up, 2338 participants died. A 1 SD reduction in grip strength was associated with HR=1.17 (95% CI 1.12 to 1.22) for allcause mortality in a model adjusted for age, gender and body size. This association was similar across all age groups, in men and women, and robust to adjustment for a range of lifestyle-related and health-related factors. Results for deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory diseases and external causes resembled those for all-cause mortality, while for cancer, the association was much weaker and not significant after adjustment for lifestyle-related and health-related factors. Conclusions Weaker grip strength was associated with increased all-cause mortality rates, with similar effects on deaths due to CVD, respiratory disease and external causes, while a much weaker association was observed for cancer-related deaths. These associations were similar in both genders and across age groups, which supports the hypothesis that grip strength might be a biomarker of ageing over the lifespan.

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