Handgrip strength—a risk indicator for future fractures in the general population: findings from a prospective study and meta-analysis of 19 prospective cohort studies

Setor K Kunutsor*, Samuel Seidu, Ari Voutilainen, Ashley W Blom, Jari Laukkanen

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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Abstract

Evolving debate suggests that handgrip strength, a measure of muscular strength, might be associated with the risk of fractures; however, the evidence is conflicting. We aimed to assess the association of handgrip strength with the risk of fracture in the general population. Handgrip strength, measured using a dynamometer, was assessed at baseline in a population-based sample of 853 men and women aged 61–73 years in the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease prospective cohort. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for incident fractures. Incident fractures (hip, humeral, or wrist) (n = 159) occurred during a median follow-up of 16.7 years. Comparing extreme tertiles of handgrip strength, the age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) for fractures was 0.80 (0.55–1.18). The association remained similar on further adjustment for other potential confounders: HR (95% CI) of 0.82 (0.55–1.21). In a meta-analysis of 19 population-based prospective cohort studies (including the current study) comprising 220,757 participants and 9199 fractures (including 1302 hip fractures), the fully adjusted relative risk (RR) (95% confidence interval, CI) for incident fractures was 0.70 (0.61–0.80) comparing the top versus bottom thirds of handgrip strength. The association remained significant after trim-and-fill correction for publication bias. The corresponding RR (95% CI) for hip fractures (9 studies) was 0.61 (0.54–0.70). Handgrip was only modestly associated with fracture risk in the primary analysis, which may be driven by the low event rate. Pooled prospective cohort evidence suggests that elevated handgrip strength is associated with reduced future fracture risk
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalGeroScience
Volume(2020)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Handgrip strength
  • Fracture
  • Cohort study
  • Meta-analysis

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