Over the last century life expectancy has increased dramatically nearly all over the world. This dramatic absolute and relative increase of the old aged people component of the population has influenced not only population structure but also has dramatic implications for the individuals and public health services. The aim of the present pilot study was to examine the impact of physical well-being assessed by hand grip strength and social factors estimated by social contact frequency on health-related quality of life among 22 men and 41 women ranging in age between 60 and 94 years. Physical well-being was estimated by hand grip strength, data concerning subjective wellbeing and health related quality of life were collected by personal interviews based on the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaires. Number of offspring and intergenerational contacts were not related significantly to health-related quality of life, while social contacts with non-relatives and hand grip strength in contrast had a significant positive impact on health related quality of life among old aged men and women. Physical well-being and in particular muscle strength-estimated by grip strength-may increase health-related quality of life and is therefore an important source for well-being during old age. Grip strength may be used as an indicator of health-related quality of life.
Keywords: grip strength; health related quality of life; intergenerational contacts; muscle strength; old age; social contacts.