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Grip strength from midlife as an indicator of later-life brain health and cognition: evidence from a British birth cohort

Dercon, Q; Nicholas, JM; James, SN; Schott, JM; Richards, M; (2021) Grip strength from midlife as an indicator of later-life brain health and cognition: evidence from a British birth cohort. BMC Geriatrics , 21 , Article 475. 10.1186/s12877-021-02411-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Grip strength is an indicator of physical function with potential predictive value for health in ageing populations. We assessed whether trends in grip strength from midlife predicted later-life brain health and cognition. Methods: 446 participants in an ongoing British birth cohort study, the National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), had their maximum grip strength measured at ages 53, 60–64, and 69, and subsequently underwent neuroimaging as part of a neuroscience sub-study, referred to as “Insight 46”, at age 69–71. A group-based trajectory model identified latent groups of individuals in the whole NSHD cohort with below- or above-average grip strength over time, plus a reference group. Group assignment, plus standardised grip strength levels and change from midlife were each related to measures of whole-brain volume (WBV) and white matter hyperintensity volume (WMHV), plus several cognitive tests. Models were adjusted for sex, body size, head size (where appropriate), sociodemographics, and behavioural and vascular risk factors. Results: Lower grip strength from midlife was associated with smaller WBV and lower matrix reasoning scores at age 69–71, with findings consistent between analysis of individual time points and analysis of trajectory groups. There was little evidence of an association between grip strength and other cognitive test scores. Although greater declines in grip strength showed a weak association with higher WMHV at age 69–71, trends in the opposite direction were seen at individual time points with higher grip strength at ages 60–64, and 69 associated with higher WMHV. Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence that maximum grip strength may have value in predicting brain health. Future work should assess to what extent age-related declines in grip strength from midlife reflect concurrent changes in brain structure.

Type: Article
Title: Grip strength from midlife as an indicator of later-life brain health and cognition: evidence from a British birth cohort
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12877-021-02411-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-021-02411-7
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). 2021 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134175
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