Grip Strength: An Indispensable Biomarker For Older Adults

Clin Interv Aging. 2019 Oct 1:14:1681-1691. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S194543. eCollection 2019.


Grip strength has been proposed as a biomarker. Supporting this proposition, evidence is provided herein that shows grip strength is largely consistent as an explanator of concurrent overall strength, upper limb function, bone mineral density, fractures, falls, malnutrition, cognitive impairment, depression, sleep problems, diabetes, multimorbidity, and quality of life. Evidence is also provided for a predictive link between grip strength and all-cause and disease-specific mortality, future function, bone mineral density, fractures, cognition and depression, and problems associated with hospitalization. Consequently, the routine use of grip strength can be recommended as a stand-alone measurement or as a component of a small battery of measurements for identifying older adults at risk of poor health status.

Keywords: aging; biomarker; epidemiology; health outcomes; mortality; muscle strength; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Health Status*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multimorbidity
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*