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Weak handshake could signify need for healthcare plan in later life

Published on 10/09/2010
The firmness of a person's handshake and other simple tests could be capable of predicting how likely it is they will need a healthcare plan as they get older.

According to new research from the Medical Research Council's (MRC) Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, found that grip strength, walking speed, how quickly a person can rise from a chair and ability to balance could all be used as indicators as to how long a person will live.

Scientists analysed the findings of 33 studies across the world, which included over 50,000 men and women who were followed for up to 43 years.

Those with a stronger handgrip and better performance on other physical tests lived longer on average than the other participants.

The researchers believe these tests could be used as simple and cost-effective methods of in health assessments to monitor health and guide decisions on healthcare.

Dr Rachel Cooper from the MRC, who led the analysis, said: "Simple non-invasive assessment measures like these, that are linked to current and future health, could help doctors identify those most vulnerable to poor health in later life and who may benefit from early intervention to keep them active for longer."

The MRC is a publicly-funded organisation with research units in the UK and Africa.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Health
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