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Grip strength across the life course: normative data from twelve British studies

Grip strength across the life course: normative data from twelve British studies
Grip strength across the life course: normative data from twelve British studies
Introduction
Epidemiological studies have shown that weaker grip strength in later life is associated with disability, morbidity, and mortality. Grip strength is a key component of the sarcopenia and frailty phenotypes and yet it is unclear how individual measurements should be interpreted. Our objective was to produce cross-sectional centile values for grip strength across the life course. A secondary objective was to examine the impact of different aspects of measurement protocol.
Methods
We combined 60,803 observations from 49,964 participants (26,687 female) of 12 general population studies in Great Britain. We produced centile curves for ages 4 to 90 and investigated the prevalence of weak grip, defined as strength at least 2.5 SDs below the gender-specific peak mean. We carried out a series of sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of dynamometer type and measurement position (seated or standing).
Results
Our results suggested three overall periods: an increase to peak in early adult life, maintenance through to midlife, and decline from midlife onwards. Males were on average stronger than females from adolescence onwards: males’ peak median grip was 51 kg between ages 29 and 39, compared to 31 kg in females between ages 26 and 42. Weak grip strength, defined as strength at least 2.5 SDs below the gender-specific peak mean, increased sharply with age, reaching a prevalence of 23% in males and 27% in females by age 80. Sensitivity analyses suggested our findings were robust to differences in dynamometer type and measurement position.
Conclusion
This is the first study to provide normative data for grip strength across the life course. These centile values have the potential to inform the clinical assessment of grip strength which is recognised as an important part of the identification of people with sarcopenia and frailty.
1932-6203
Dodds, R.M.
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Syddall, H.E.
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Cooper, R.
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Benzeval, M.
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Deary, I.J.
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Dennison, E.M.
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Der, G.
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Gale, C.R.
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Inskip, H.M.
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Jagger, C.
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Kirkwood, T.B.
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Lawlor, D.A.
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Robinson, S.M.
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Starr, J.M.
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Steptoe, A.
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Tilling, K.
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Kuh, D.
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Cooper, C.
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Aihie Sayer, Avan
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Dodds, R.M.
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Syddall, H.E.
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Cooper, R.
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Benzeval, M.
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Deary, I.J.
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Dennison, E.M.
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Der, G.
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Gale, C.R.
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Inskip, H.M.
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Jagger, C.
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Kirkwood, T.B.
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Lawlor, D.A.
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Robinson, S.M.
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Starr, J.M.
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Steptoe, A.
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Tilling, K.
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Kuh, D.
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Cooper, C.
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Aihie Sayer, Avan
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Dodds, R.M., Syddall, H.E., Cooper, R., Benzeval, M., Deary, I.J., Dennison, E.M., Der, G., Gale, C.R., Inskip, H.M., Jagger, C., Kirkwood, T.B., Lawlor, D.A., Robinson, S.M., Starr, J.M., Steptoe, A., Tilling, K., Kuh, D., Cooper, C. and Aihie Sayer, Avan (2014) Grip strength across the life course: normative data from twelve British studies. PLoS ONE, 9 (12), [e113637]. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113637). (PMID:25474696)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Introduction
Epidemiological studies have shown that weaker grip strength in later life is associated with disability, morbidity, and mortality. Grip strength is a key component of the sarcopenia and frailty phenotypes and yet it is unclear how individual measurements should be interpreted. Our objective was to produce cross-sectional centile values for grip strength across the life course. A secondary objective was to examine the impact of different aspects of measurement protocol.
Methods
We combined 60,803 observations from 49,964 participants (26,687 female) of 12 general population studies in Great Britain. We produced centile curves for ages 4 to 90 and investigated the prevalence of weak grip, defined as strength at least 2.5 SDs below the gender-specific peak mean. We carried out a series of sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of dynamometer type and measurement position (seated or standing).
Results
Our results suggested three overall periods: an increase to peak in early adult life, maintenance through to midlife, and decline from midlife onwards. Males were on average stronger than females from adolescence onwards: males’ peak median grip was 51 kg between ages 29 and 39, compared to 31 kg in females between ages 26 and 42. Weak grip strength, defined as strength at least 2.5 SDs below the gender-specific peak mean, increased sharply with age, reaching a prevalence of 23% in males and 27% in females by age 80. Sensitivity analyses suggested our findings were robust to differences in dynamometer type and measurement position.
Conclusion
This is the first study to provide normative data for grip strength across the life course. These centile values have the potential to inform the clinical assessment of grip strength which is recognised as an important part of the identification of people with sarcopenia and frailty.

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Accepted/In Press date: 27 October 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 December 2014
Published date: 4 December 2014
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 396545
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/396545
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 5b17551e-91bc-499d-820e-d206caddf8ee
ORCID for R.M. Dodds: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4968-7678
ORCID for H.E. Syddall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0171-0306
ORCID for E.M. Dennison: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3048-4961
ORCID for C.R. Gale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3361-8638
ORCID for H.M. Inskip: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8897-1749
ORCID for S.M. Robinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1766-7269
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709

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Date deposited: 10 Jun 2016 12:52
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:51

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Contributors

Author: R.M. Dodds ORCID iD
Author: H.E. Syddall ORCID iD
Author: R. Cooper
Author: M. Benzeval
Author: I.J. Deary
Author: E.M. Dennison ORCID iD
Author: G. Der
Author: C.R. Gale ORCID iD
Author: H.M. Inskip ORCID iD
Author: C. Jagger
Author: T.B. Kirkwood
Author: D.A. Lawlor
Author: S.M. Robinson ORCID iD
Author: J.M. Starr
Author: A. Steptoe
Author: K. Tilling
Author: D. Kuh
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD
Author: Avan Aihie Sayer

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