Grip strength 'linked to risk of a stroke'

16 February 2012

People could be at an increased risk of contracting heart problems as a result of the strength of their grip or pace of their standard walk.

New research carried out at the Boston Medical Centre by Dr Erica Camargo and colleagues suggests that the level of force afforded to a middle-aged person's grip could link to the chance of them suffering a stroke.

Furthermore, the development of dementia could be increased in an individual who regularly walks at a slow speed, the scientists disclosed.

Dr Camargo commented: "While frailty and lower physical performance in elderly people have been associated with an increased risk of dementia, we weren't sure until now how it impacted people of middle age."

In order to record the results, the researchers recorded brain scans, walking speed and grip strength on 2,410 individuals with an average age of 62 years old.

The individuals were then studied again 11 years later, after which 79 had suffered a stroke and 34 had developed dementia.

A separate study led by Gregory Wellenius, of the Centre for Environmental Health and Technology at Brown University, highlighted that air pollution may be increasing the risk of elderly people having a stroke.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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