Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Initial level and rate of change in grip strength predict all-cause mortality in very old adults

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Antoneta Granic, Dr Karen Davies, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger, Dr Richard DoddsORCiD, Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood, Professor Avan SayerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Objective: to investigate the associations between initial level and rate of change in grip strength (GS) and all-cause mortality in very old adults (≥85 years) over a 9.6-year follow-up. Methods: prospective mortality data from 845 participants in the Newcastle 85+ Study were analysed for survival in relation to GS (kg, baseline and 5-year mean change) using Cox proportional hazards models. Results: during the follow-up, 636 (75.3%) participants died. Higher baseline GS was associated with a decreased risk of mortality in all participants [hazard ratio (HR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93-0.98, P < 0.001], men (0.97, 95% CI 0.95-0.99, P = 0.009), and women (0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.99, P = 0.007) after adjustment for health, lifestyle and anthropometric factors. Overall GS slope had a downward trajectory and was determined in 602 participants: 451 experienced constant decline (negative slope) and 151 had increasing GS (positive slope) over time. Men and women with a negative slope had a 16% and 33% increased risk of mortality, respectively with every kg/year decline in GS (P ≤ 0.005), and participants with a positive slope had a 31% decreased risk of mortality (P = 0.03) irrespective of baseline GS and key covariates. Conclusion: higher baseline GS and 5-year increase in GS were protective of mortality, whilst GS decline was associated with an increased risk of mortality in the very old over 9.6 years, especially in women. These results add to the biological and clinical importance of GS as a powerful predictor of long-term survival in late life.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Granic A, Davies K, Jagger C, Dodds R, Kirkwood TBL, Sayer AA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2017

Volume: 46

Issue: 6

Pages: 970-976

Print publication date: 01/11/2017

Online publication date: 25/05/2017

Acceptance date: 11/05/2017

Date deposited: 19/05/2017

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afx087


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
R124/0509Dunhill Medical Trust