Health  

Weak handshakes linked with enlarged, damaged hearts


People with strong handshakes may be less at risk of heart disease, new research suggests. A study released today found people with weak handshakes are more likely to have enlarged, damaged hearts. In contrast, a stronger grip is associated with more blood being pumped per heart beat, regardless of the organ’s size, a study found Thursday.

This suggests such an individual is not suffering from heart muscle reshaping, which can occur due to high blood pressure, and is associated with cardiovascular events, the research adds.

Study author Professor Steffen Petersen, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “Better handgrip strength is associated with having a healthier heart structure and function

“Handgrip strength is an inexpensive, reproducible and easy to implement measure, and could become an important method for identifying those at a high risk of heart disease and preventing major life-changing events, such as heart attacks.”

The researchers analysed the hand grip strength of 5,065 people who were previously involved in the UK Biobank study by asking them to grasp a device known as a dynamometer for three seconds. Heart health was assessed via X-ray like medical images.

The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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