Association Between Reduced Handgrip Strength and Commonly Prescribed Medications

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Bryan L LoveL. B. Norris


Decreased handgrip-strength has become an increasingly important measure of overall health status and fitness. This was a cross-sectional analysis among adult participants in the 2011-2012 NHANES survey. Handgrip-strength was assessed using a digital dynamometer and a standard protocol, and medication use was assessed by self-report and verification by the interviewer. Mean handgrip-strength among participants with no medication use was 87.2kg in males and 57.2kg in females. Handgrip strength decreased significantly in both men and women (ptrend<0.001 for both) with increasing medication use after adjustment for age, sex, height, arm circumference, and BMI. Statins, ACE-inhibitors, ARBs, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, and sulfonylureas showed a consistent and significant decrease in grip strength in linear regression models. In this nationally representative survey of adults in the US, we observed a negative relationship between handgrip strength and polypharmacy. Further, several specific medications, mostly cardiovascular drug classes, were associated with reduced handgrip-strength.

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