How''s Your Health? How's Your Hand Shake?

Mine is a little weak and I gasp when someone's is a lot firmer.  Some I've had to take were sweaty or too warm.  Mine are always cold.

We're talking of course about hand shakes.

And now a new study is saying that how firm yours is can reveal your health.

According to newswise.com, your hand shake tells the story of your health.  The firmness of your hand grip is better than your blood pressure at assessing your health, Hamilton, Ontario researchers have found, and reduced muscular strength, measured by your grip, is consistently linked with early death, disability and illness.The research was conducted by the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.

“Grip strength could be an easy and inexpensive test to assess an individual’s risk of death and cardiovascular disease,” says principal investigator Dr. Darryl Leong, an assistant professor of medicine of McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and cardiologist for the hospital, newswise reports. “Doctors or other healthcare professionals can measure grip strength to identify patients with major illnesses such as heart failure or stoke who are at particularly high risk of dying from their illness.”

The study followed almost 140,000 adults aged 35 to 70 over four years in 17 countries. Their muscle strength was measured using a handgrip dynamometer. They were taking part in the institute’s Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study.

The researchers found that for every five-kilogram-decline (a little over 11 pounds) in grip strength, there was a one in six increased risk of death from any cause. There was the same 17% higher risk of death from either heart disease or stroke, or non-cardiovascular conditions.

Healthy grip strength does depend on the individual’s size and weight, and in this study appeared to vary with ethnicity. Further analysis is needed to identify the cut-offs for healthy grip strength in people from different countries.

Leong added that more research is also needed to establish whether efforts to improve muscle strength are likely to reduce an individual’s risk of death and cardiovascular disease.

So does that mean you should start ramping up your hand shake?  I don't know.  But I'm going out today to buy one of those things you can squeeze to make it firmer.






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