Association between hand-grip strength and depressive symptoms: Locomotive Syndrome and Health Outcomes in Aizu Cohort Study (LOHAS)

Age Ageing. 2015 Jul;44(4):592-8. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv013. Epub 2015 Feb 21.


Background: no study has examined the longitudinal association between hand-grip strength and mental health, such as depressive symptoms.

Objective: we investigated the relationship between baseline hand-grip strength and the risk of depressive symptoms.

Design: a prospective cohort study.

Setting and subjects: a prospective cohort study with a 1-year follow-up was conducted using 4,314 subjects from community-dwelling individuals aged 40-79 years in two Japanese municipalities, based on the Locomotive Syndrome and Health Outcomes in Aizu Cohort Study (LOHAS, 2008-10).

Methods: we assessed baseline hand-grip strength standardised using national representative data classified by age and gender, and depressive symptoms at baseline and after the follow-up using the five-item version of the Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5).

Results: the 4,314 subjects had a mean age of 66.3 years, 58.5% were women, and mean unadjusted hand-grip strength was 29.8 kg. Multivariable random-effect logistic regression analysis revealed that subjects with lower hand-grip strength (per 1SD decrease) had higher odds of having depressive symptoms at baseline [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-1.24; P = 0.001]. Further, lower hand-grip strength (per 1SD decrease) was associated with the longitudinal development of depressive symptoms after 1 year (AOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.01-1.27; P = 0.036).

Conclusions: using a large population-based sample, our results suggest that lower hand-grip strength, standardised using age and gender, is both cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with depressive symptoms.

Keywords: depressive symptoms; hand-grip strength; mental health; muscular weakness; older patients; population-based study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Depression / rehabilitation
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors