Physical functioning

Grip strength

In: LASA161 (Anthropometry)

Contact: Marjolein Visser

Grip strength can be used as an indicator of muscle strength. Grip strength is known to be positively correlated with lower-extremity strength in older persons, with reported correlation coefficients between 0.47 and 0.51.1-2 Moreover, grip strength is a reliable (coefficient of variation 3-6% in older persons)3-4 and portable muscle strength test that can be administered in a home setting. Low grip strength is associated with poor functional performance and self-reported disability.1,5-6

Measurement instruments in LASA
In LASA grip strength was measured during the medical interview at wave C (LASAC161) and wave D (LASAD161) using a grip strength dynamometer (Takei TKK 5001, Takei Scientific Instruments Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan). Measurements were made in duplicate for both hands. Grip strength was recorded to the nearest 1 kg. The dynamometer was adjusted for hand size.

LASAC161 / LASAD161 / LASAE161 / LAS2B161 / LASAF161 / LASAG161 / LASAH161 / LAS3B161 / LASMB161 / LASAI161 (part of Anthropology in medical interview, in Dutch, in preparation)

Variable information
LASAC161 / LASAD161 / LASAE161 / LAS2B161 / LASAF161 / LASAG161 / LASAH161 / LAS3B161 / LASMB161 / LASAI161
(pdf, in preparation)

Availability of information per wave1














Grip Strength (hand)












 1 More information about the LASA data collection waves is available on:

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
   3B=baseline third cohort;
   MB=migrants: baseline first cohort (Under Construction
   I=Under Construction

Me=data were collected in medical interview

Previous use in LASA
No standardized way of using grip strength data is available from the literature. Within LASA the data have been used in different ways:
- The maximum strength out of two attempts of the dominant* hand.5
- The sum of the mean strength of the left and right hand.7

* The dominant hand can be derived from file LASAB023. If bevmem08=1 then the left hand is dominant, if bevmem08=2 or 3 then the right hand is dominant. Note: in the Migrant cohort only grip strength of the right hand was measured.

Furrer et al. (2014) concluded that in men, higher handgrip strength and physical performance are related to higher bone quality and reduced fracture risk, whereas in women, a moderate to high level of physical activity is associated with reduced fracture risk. Research of Gardner et al. (2013) showed that there was little evidence of associations between a larger diurnal drop and balance or grip strength. Swart et al. (2013) suggest that in men, higher homocysteine levels were associated with lower grip strength.

  • Furrer, R., Van Schoor , N.M., De Haan, A., Lips, P.T.A., De Jongh, R.T. (2014). Gender-specific associations between physical functioning, bone quality, and fracture risk in older people. Calcified Tissue International, 94, 522-530.
  • Gardner, M.P., Lightman, S., Sayer, A.A., Cooper, C., Cooper, R., Deeg, D.J.H., Ebrahim, S., Gallacher, J. (2013). Dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and physical performance at older ages: an individual participant meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38, 40-49.
  • Swart, K.M.A., Van Schoor , N.M., Heymans, M.W., Schaap, L.A., Den Heijer, M., Lips, P.T.A. (2013). Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with lod muscle strength and functional limitations in older persons. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 17, 6, 578-584.


  1. Avlund K, Schroll M, Davidsen M et al. Maximal isometric muscle strength and functional ability in daily activities among 75-year-old men and women. Scand J Med Sci Sports 1994;4:32-40.
  2. Viitasalo JT, Era P, Leskinen AL, Heikkinen E. Muscular strength profiles and anthropometry in random samples of men aged 31-35, 51-55 and 71-75 years. Ergonomics 1985;28:1563-1574.
  3. Greig CA, Young A, Skelton DA et al. Exercise studies with elderly volunteers. Age Ageing 1994;23:185-189.
  4. Kallman DA, Plato CC, Tobin JD. The role of muscle loss in the age-related decline of grip strength: cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives. J Gerontol 1990;45:M82-88.
  5. Visser M, Deeg DJH, Lips P, Harris TB, Bouter LM. Skeletal muscle mass and muscle strength in relation to lower-extremity performance in older men and women. J Am Geriatr Soc 2000;48:381-386.
  6. Rantanen T, Guralnik JM, Foley D, Masaki K, Leveille S, Curb JD, White L. Midlife hand grip strength as a predictor of old age disability. JAMA 1999;281:558-560.
  7. Tromp E. Risk assessment of falls and fractures in the elderly. Thesis, 2000.