A firm handshake is enough to kill you
The strength of your handshake could signal the chance of a future heart attack, a major study in The Lancet suggests. The research found the vigour of a person's hand-grip could predict the risk of heart attacks and strokes - and was a stronger predictor of death than checking systolic blood pressure.Experts said a grip test could be a simple, low-cost way to predict the risk of heart attacks and strokes.The study, involving almost 140000 adults in 17 countries found weak grip strength is linked with shorter survival and a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke.Reduced muscular strength, which can be measured by grip strength, has been consistently linked with early death, disability and illness. But there has been limited research on whether grip strength could be used to indicate heart health.The new study found that every 5kg decline in grip strength was associated with a 16% increased risk of death from any cause; a 17% greater risk of cardiovascular death; a 17% higher risk of non-cardiovascular death; and more modest increases in the risk of having a heart attack (7%) or a stroke (9%).Lead author Dr Darryl Leong, of McMaster University in Canada, said: "Grip strength could be an easy and inexpensive test to assess an individual's risk of death and cardiovascular disease."Further research is needed to establish whether efforts to improve muscle strength are likely to reduce an individual's risk of death and cardiovascular disease."