|Title||Handgrip strength asymmetry is associated with future falls in older Americans.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||McGrath, RP, Clark, BC, Cesari, M, Johnson, C, Jurivich, DA|
|Journal||Aging Clinical and Experimental Research|
|Keywords||Asymmetric HGS, Falls, impaired neuromuscular function|
BACKGROUND: Examining handgrip strength (HGS) asymmetry could extend the utility of handgrip dynamometers for screening future falls.
AIMS: We sought to determine the associations of HGS asymmetry on future falls in older Americans.
METHODS: The analytic sample included 10,446 adults aged at least 65 years from the 2006-2016 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Falls were self-reported. A handgrip dynamometer measured HGS. The highest HGS on each hand was used for determining HGS asymmetry ratio: (non-dominant HGS/dominant HGS). Those with HGS asymmetry ratio < 1.0 had their ratio inverted to make all HGS asymmetry ratios ≥ 1.0. Participants were categorized into asymmetry groups based on their inverted HGS asymmetry ratio: (1) 0.0-10.0%, (2) 10.1-20.0%, (3) 20.1-30.0%, and (4) > 30.0%. Generalized estimating equations were used for the analyses.
RESULTS: Every 0.10 increase in HGS asymmetry ratio was associated with 1.26 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-1.48) greater odds for future falls. Relative to those with HGS asymmetry 0.0-10.0%, participants with HGS asymmetry > 30.0% had 1.15 (CI 1.01-1.33) greater odds for future falls; however, the associations were not significant for those with HGS asymmetry 10.1-20.0% (odds ratio: 1.06; CI 0.98-1.14) and 20.1-30.0% (odds ratio: 1.10; CI 0.99-1.22). Compared to those with HGS asymmetry 0.0-10.0%, participants with HGS asymmetry > 10.0% and > 20.0% had 1.07 (CI 1.01-1.16) and 1.12 (CI 1.02-1.22) greater odds for future falls, respectively.
DISCUSSION: Asymmetric HGS, as a possible biomarker of impaired neuromuscular function, may help predict falls.
CONCLUSIONS: We recommend that HGS asymmetry be considered in HGS protocols and fall risk assessments.