Could grip strength predict CVD risk in diabetes patients?

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  • In this study of participants from a UK biobank, risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and other adverse outcomes among patients with diabetes was higher in those who had lower grip strength.
  • Results strongly point out that lower grip strength in patients with diabetes could indicate a high-risk sub-group.

Why this matters

  • Loss of skeletal muscle function is associated with greater risk for comorbidities which is even more pronounced in patients with diabetes.
  • Lower grip strength could be clinically indicative of poor health outcomes and targeted interventions like resistance exercise could manifest great benefits in this patient category.

Study design

  • Study evaluated 347,130 participants (age, 40-69 y), of which 13,373 had diabetes.
  • Grip strength measured by Jamar J00105 hydraulic hand dynamometer.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Significant interaction observed between diabetes and grip strength for CVD mortality (P=.016), CVD incidence (P=.041) and all-cause mortality (P=.020).
  • CVD mortality (HR, 4.05; P<.0001) and CVD incidence (HR, 2.19; P<.0001) were significantly higher in patients with diabetes and low grip strength.
  • Risk for all-cause mortality was higher in patients with diabetes and low (HR 2.79; P<.0001) vs high (HR, 1.36; P<.0001) grip strength.


  • Only patients with diabetes who survived long enough evaluated.
  • Data on physician-diagnosed diabetes, physical activity and sedentary behaviour was self-reported.