University of Oulu

Max J. Åström, Mikaela B. von Bonsdorff, Minna K. Salonen, Eero Kajantie, Clive Osmond, Johan G. Eriksson, Glucose regulation and grip strength in adults: Findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Volume 94, 2021, 104348, ISSN 0167-4943,

Glucose regulation and grip strength in adults : findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study

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Author: Åström, Max J.1,2,3; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela B.2,4; Salonen, Minna K.2,5;
Organizations: 1Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
2Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
3Vaasa Central Hospital, Vaasa, Finland
4Gerontology Research Center and Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
5Department of Public Health Solutions, Public Health Promotion Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
6Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
7PEDEGO Research Unit, MRC Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
8Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
9MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
10Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
11Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-08


Aim: This study aimed to assess the association between grip strength and glucose regulation in a cross-sectional setting.

Methods: Using data from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, 924 men and 953 women were studied at a mean age of 61.6 years. Grip strength was assessed in the dominant hand using a Newtest Grip Force dynamometer. A standard 2-h 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was used to define glucose regulation. The participants were classified into four groups: normoglycaemia, prediabetes (impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance), newly diagnosed diabetes and previously known diabetes. The association between grip strength and glucose regulation was assessed using multiple linear regression models.

Results: Prediabetes was diagnosed in 32.2% and diabetes in 8.4% using the OGTT. A total of 7.8% of the individuals had previously known diabetes. Compared to individuals with normoglycaemia, grip strength was lower for those with newly diagnosed diabetes (-1.8 kg, 95% CI -3.2 to -0.5) as well as those with previously known diabetes (-1.8 kg, 95% CI -3.2 to -0.4) after adjusting for covariates (age, sex, body mass index, physical activity, education and smoking). No difference in grip strength was found when comparing those with prediabetes and normoglycaemia.

Conclusion: In adults, grip strength was lower among those with known and newly diagnosed diabetes compared to those with normoglycaemia. Together with previous findings on associations between grip strength and chronic diseases, these results support the use of grip strength as an overall health marker in adults.

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Series: Archives of gerontology and geriatrics
ISSN: 0167-4943
ISSN-E: 1872-6976
ISSN-L: 0167-4943
Volume: 94
Article number: 104348
DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2021.104348
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This work was supported by Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research; Juho Vainio Foundation; Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation; Samfundet Folkhälsan; Finska Läkaresällskapet; Medicinska Understödsföreningen Liv och Hälsa; European Commission FP7 (DORIAN) [grant number 278603]; EU H2020-PHC-2014-DynaHealth [grant number 633595]; and the Academy of Finland [grant number 257239 to MBvB; grant numbers 127437, 129306, 130326, 134791, 263924, 274794 to EK; grant numbers 129369, 129907, 135072, 129255, 126775 to JGE]. The funding sources had no involvement in the design, data collection, analysis or writing of this paper and did not take part in the decision to submit this paper for publication.
EU Grant Number: (633595) DYNAHEALTH - Understanding the dynamic determinants of glucose homeostasis and social capability to promote Healthy and active aging
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (