, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 342-345
Date: 30 Jun 2012

Reference values for handgrip strength in young people of both sexes

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Abstract

The handgrip strength is considered an excellent predictor of morbidity and mortality for acute and long term outcomes. In fact, several studies showed that the reduced handgrip strength is correlated to all-cause mortality in both middle aged and elderly subjects. Nevertheless, defined reference values of handgrip strength are not available, especially from young and healthy populations. The aim of this study was to determine the reference values for handgrip strength from a healthy population of young volunteers. A secondary objective was to derivate a muscle function T score useful for adults and elderly individuals. We enrolled 335 healthy university students (157 men and 178 females) aged 19–25 years. The handgrip strength was measured using a hydraulic hand dynamometer by trained dietitians. The mean handgrip strength value was 27.70 ± 4.3 kg for female and 44.77 ± 6.6 kg for male. We showed statistical difference between sexes. We also found the lower T score in community-dwelling elderly individuals in comparison to the young people. The muscle strength loss is a multi-factorial process influenced by age and hormonal factors. The availability of the reference values in both sexes might open the way to the diffusion of the handgrip strength assessment for more clinical use, and it might be useful to identify people who could benefit from early nutritional or pharmacological programs.