Handgrip strength (HGS) is often used as an indicator of overall muscle strength for aging adults, and low HGS is associated with a variety of poor health outcomes including chronic morbidities, functional disabilities, and all-cause mortality. As public health initiatives and programs target the preservation of muscle strength for aging adults, it is important to understand how HGS factors into the disabling process and the sequence of health events that connect low HGS with premature mortality. Such information will help to inform interventions designed to slow the disabling process and improve health outcomes for those at risk for muscle weakness. Further, unraveling the disabling process and identifying the role of weakness throughout the life course will help to facilitate the adoption of HGS measurements into clinical practice for healthcare providers and their patients. The purposes of this article were to (1) highlight evidence demonstrating the associations between HGS and clinically relevant health outcomes, (2) provide directions for future research in HGS and health, and (3) propose a sequence of health-related events that may better explain the role of muscle weakness in the disabling process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation