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Diabetes and Hypertension Linked to Grip Strength

Researchers found that the strength of your grip could provide clues to undetected diabetes or high blood pressure, especially if you’re “skinny fat.” That means you’re within the normal range on the body mass index (BMI), but your fat-to-lean muscle ratio leans more toward the fat part, about 25 percent body fat in men and 35 percent body fat in women. People who are “skinny fat” are four times more likely to develop problems, like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels, than people who have lower body fat. For the study, researchers analyzed the grip strength measurements, blood pressure readings, and blood sugar levels of nearly 1,500 adults age 20 and older, who had a BMI within 18.5 to 24.9 — the healthy range. The people with undiagnosed high blood pressure or diabetes had a weaker grip strength than those who didn’t. — Mainous A, Tanner R, Anton S, Jo A. Grip Strength as a Marker of Hypertension and Diabetes in Healthy Weight Adults. American journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015.