London, May 8 IANS | 3 months ago

How good your grip is as you shake hands with someone is the most crucial tool to predict your true age.


According to new research, the strength of a person's grasp may also be one of the most useful ways to measure speed of aging.

"Hand-grip strength is easily measured and data on hand-grip strength now can be found in many of the most important surveys on aging worldwide," explained Warren Sanderson from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria.

IIASA researchers Sanderson and Serguei Scherbov showed that hand grip corresponds to other markers of aging such as people's future mortality, disability, cognitive decline, and ability to recover from hospital stays.

For their research, Sanderson and Scherbov reviewed findings from over 50 published studies that focus on people of all ages around the world.

They found that a 65-year-old white women who had not completed secondary education has the same handgrip strength as a 69-year-old white women who had completed secondary education.

"This suggests that according to a handgrip strength characteristic their ages are equivalent and 65-year-old women ages four years faster due to lower education attainment," Scherbov noted.

The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Using a physical test like hand-grip, the researchers can identify differences in the aging process between population groups that may not otherwise become apparent.

(Posted on 08-05-2014)