Inverse Association of Handgrip Strength With Risk of Heart Failure

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the nature, magnitude, and specificity of the association between handgrip strength (HGS) and heart failure (HF) risk. Patients and Methods: Handgrip strength was assessed at baseline from March 1, 1998, to December 31, 2001, by use of a hand dynamometer in the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease prospective population-based cohort of 770 men and women aged 61 to 74 years without a history of HF. Relative HGS was obtained by dividing the absolute value by body weight. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs were estimated with Cox regression models. We used multiple imputation to account for missing data. Results: 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% CI) for HF was 0.73 (0.59-0.91) per 1 SD increase in relative HGS. Comparing the top vs 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. Conclusion: Relative HGS is inversely and continually associated with the future risk of HF in the general population. Studies are warranted to evaluate whether HGS may be a useful prognostic tool for HF in the general population and to determine whether resistance exercise training may lower the risk of HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1499
Number of pages10
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


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