Handgrip strength and all-cause dementia incidence and mortality: findings from the UK Biobank prospective cohort study

J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Jun;13(3):1514-1525. doi: 10.1002/jcsm.12857. Epub 2022 Apr 21.


Background: This study aimed to investigate the associations of grip strength with incidence and mortality from dementia and whether these associations differ by sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.

Methods: A total of 466 788 participants of the UK Biobank (median age 56.5 years, 54.5% women). The outcome was all-cause dementia incidence and mortality and the exposure was grip strength. Grip strength was assessed using a Jamar J00105 hydraulic hand dynamometer.

Results: Excluding the first 2 years of follow-up (landmark analysis), mean follow-up was 9.1 years (inter-quartile range: 8.3; 9.7) for incidence and 9.3 (inter-quartile range: 8.7; 10.0) for mortality. During this time, 4087 participants developed dementia, and 1309 died from it. Lower grip strength was associated with a higher risk of dementia incidence and mortality independent of major confounding factors (P < 0.001). Individuals in the lowest quintile of grip strength had 72% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.55; 1.92] higher incident dementia risk and 87% [95% CI: 1.55; 2.26] higher risk of dementia mortality compared with those in the highest quintile. Our PAF analyses indicate that 30.1% of dementia cases and 32.3% of dementia deaths are attributable to having low grip strength. The association between grip strength and dementia outcomes did not differ by lifestyle or sociodemographic factors.

Conclusions: Lower grip strength was associated with a higher risk of all-cause dementia incidence and mortality, independently of important confounding factors.

Keywords: Adults; Alzheimer; Mortality; Muscular strength; Prevention; Vascular dementia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks
  • Cardiovascular Diseases*
  • Dementia* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology