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Get A Grip On Diabetes

Hand Strength Could Signal Problems

By John Salak –

Something as simple as the measuring the strength of a person’s handgrip could become a low-cast and life-saving way to determine whether a person is at risk for Type 2 diabetes.

New research out of Britain and Finland found that the risk of diabetes dropped significantly as an individual’s grip strength increased.

The findings could help deal with one of the world’s great medical threats. Diabetes in all forms is the ninth major cause of death globally. At the core of the problem, Type 2 diabetes hits approximately 90 percent of those suffering from all forms of the condition, which is prevalent in older people who are obese, inactive, have a poor diet, consume excessive amounts of alcohol and may have a family history with diabetes.

Until this latest research, the connection between hand strength and diabetes was uncertain at best, as various studies showed inconclusive connections. The report out of the University of Bristol and the University of Eastern Finland, however, goes much further proving a definite link. The results came from a 20-year study of 776 men and women without a history of diabetes, which measured hand strength by having participants grip a dynameter. The research found that the risk of Type 2 diabetes was reduced by 50 percent for every unit increase in hand strength recorded by the dynameter.

While these findings are extremely tantalizing, researchers stress more formal tests are needed to establish an absolute connection. This will only come, they added, by measuring hand strength changes against individual patient data.

Yet the potential payback can’t be ignored. “These findings may have implications for the development of Type 2 diabetes prevention strategies,” Dr. Setor Kunutsor, the study’s lead author, announced. “Assessment of handgrip is simple, inexpensive and does not require very skilled expertise and resources and could potentially be used in the early identification of individuals at high risk of future type 2 diabetes.”






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