Research, published in The Lancet, studied almost 140,000 patients across 17 countries and found that a person’s grip strength could indicate they are at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The findings showed that participants who had a weaker grip were at an increased risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
Doireann Maddock, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The findings of this study are interesting, however it doesn’t explain why grip strength should be related to cardiovascular disease. More research is needed to understand any possible link between the two.
“The good news is we already know there are several established risk factors for cardiovascular disease and an NHS health check can assess your risk. So if you’re over 40 years old speak with your GP or practice nurse about getting this done.
“Whatever your situation, you can help reduce the impact of any risk factors by adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as stopping smoking, keeping active and eating a healthy diet. You can also try out our free heart age tool.”
The Heart Age Tool, developed by Public Health England, the BHF, Joint British Society and NHS choices, allows people to input simple lifestyle information including their weight, height and smoking habits to see how their real age compares to the predicted age of their heart.
To use the Heart Age Tool, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/heartage.aspx