Handgrip strength is inversely associated with risk of heart failure: Handgrip strength and heart failure risk

Jari Laurikka*, Hassan Khan, Carl J. Lavie, Ari Voutilainen, Sudhir Kurl, Sae Young Jae, Setor K Kunutsor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


To evaluate the nature, magnitude and specificity of the association between handgrip strength (HGS) and heart failure (HF) risk as these aspects of the association in the general population are uncertain.

Patients and Methods
Handgrip strength was assessed at baseline from March 01, 1998 to December 31, 2001 using a hand dynamometer in the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease prospective population-based cohort of 770 men and women aged 61-74 years without a history of HF. Relative HGS was obtained by dividing the absolute value by body weight. Hazard ratios (HRs) (95% confidence intervals, CIs) were estimated using Cox regression models. We used multiple imputation to account for missing data.

During a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 17.1 (11.3-18.3) years, 177 HF events were recorded. Handgrip strength was continually associated with risk of HF, consistent with a curvilinear shape. On adjustment for several established risk factors and other potential confounders, the HR (95% CIs) for HF was 0.73 (0.59-0.91) per 1 standard deviation increase in relative HGS. Comparing the top versus bottom tertiles of relative HGS, the corresponding adjusted HR was 0.55 (0.38-0.81). The association remained similar across several clinical subgroups. Imputed results were broadly similar to the observed results.

Relative HGS is inversely and continually associated with the future risk of HF in the general population. Studies are warranted to evaluate if HGS may be a useful prognostic tool for HF in the general population, and to determine if resistance exercise training may lower the risk of HF.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Sep 2020


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