A weak handshake could be a sign of Type 2 diabetes later in life, a new study has revealed. Researchers from the universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland claim that people with weaker muscular handgrip are more likely to develop diabetes. Dr Setor Kunutsor, co-author of the study, said: "These findings may have implications for the development of type 2 diabetes prevention strategies.
“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.”
In the study, the team measured the muscular handgrip strength of 776 men and women without a history of diabetes, over a 20-year period. Participants were asked to squeeze the handles of a dynamometer with their dominant hand with maximum effort for five seconds. The results revealed that the risk of Type 2 diabetes was reduced by about 50% for every unit increase in handgrip strength value.
Importantly, this link persisted even when other factors were taken into account, including age, family history of diabetes, physical activity, smoking, hypertension, waist circumference and fasting plasma glucose. Delving deeper into the findings, the results revealed that the link is particularly strong in women, indicating females may benefit from the use of this potential screening tool.
Professor Jari Laukkanen, who led the study, added: “These results are based on a Finnish population. Given the low number of events in our analyses, we propose larger studies to replicate these findings in other populations and specifically in men and women.”