Diabetes in all forms is the ninth major cause of death in the world. Around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
A recent study from the universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland found that a simple test such as the strength of your handgrip could be used as a quick, low-cost screening tool to help healthcare professionals identify patients at risk of type 2 diabetes.
They found that the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced by around 50% for every unit increase in handgrip strength value.
Though older age, obesity, family history and lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, smoking, unhealthy diet and excessive alcohol contribute substantially to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, these factors alone do not explain all of the risks for type 2 diabetes.
It appears other factors may be involved. Reduced muscular strength, which can be measured by handgrip strength, has consistently been linked to early death, cardiovascular disease, and disability.
Until recently, there was inconsistent evidence on the relationship between handgrip strength and 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.
They found that the risk of type 2 diabetes was reduced by about 50% for every unit increase in handgrip strength value.
When information on handgrip strength was added to these established factors which are already known to predict type 2 diabetes, the prediction of type 2 diabetes improved further.
The team says 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.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies about high vitamin D level linked to lower dementia risk in type 2 diabetes, and this eating habit could help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and results showing green tea and coffee could help reduce death risk in type 2 diabetes.
The study was published in the Annals of Medicine and conducted by Dr. Setor Kunutsor et al.
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