Strong handshakes may influence more than first impressions. Individuals with a weaker grip have a higher risk of death from heart attack or stroke than people with mightier hand muscles. The finding held steady even after adjusting for age, smoking habits and physical activity, researchers report May 13 in The Lancet.
The study, which looked at nearly 140,000 people in 17 countries, suggests grip strength may be a better predictor of the risk of death than blood pressure. Measuring grip strength could be a cheap and easy tool for gauging that risk in individuals with cardiovascular or other diseases, the authors argue.