Lifestyle choices, such as diet and smoking, and illness all contribute to advancing biological age beyond chronological age. In other words, your body is aging faster than expected. And for the first time, researchers have found that muscle weakness marked by grip strength, a proxy for overall strength capacity, is associated with accelerated biological aging. Specifically, according to results published in The Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, the weaker your grip strength, the older your biological age.
Researchers at Michigan Medicine modeled the relationship between biological age and grip strength in 1,274 middle-aged and older adults using three ‘age acceleration clocks’ based on DNA methylation, a process that is a molecular biomarker and associated with aging. Provides an estimate of the speed of The watches were originally drawn from various studies examining diabetes, heart disease, cancer, physical disability, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, and early mortality.
The results show that both older men and women showed an association between reduced holding power and biological age acceleration in DNA methylation clocks. “We know that muscle strength is a predictor of longevity, and that weakness is a powerful indicator of disease and mortality, but, for the first time, we have found strong evidence of a biological link between muscle weakness and an actual acceleration in biological . age,” said Mark Peterson, PhD, MS, lead author of the study and associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan.
“This suggests that if you maintain your muscle strength throughout life, you may be able to fend off many common age-related diseases. We know that smoking, for example, increases the risk of disease and mortality.” can be a powerful predictor, but we now know that muscle weakness may be the new smoking.”
The real strength of this study was in the observation of eight to 10 years, in which low grip strength predicted faster biological aging up to a decade later, said Jessica Faul, PhD, MPH, co-author of the study and the UM Institute. Research Associate Professor in For Social Research.
Association between muscle weakness and chronic diseases
Previous studies have shown that low grip strength is an extremely strong predictor of adverse health events. One study even found that it is a better predictor of cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction, than systolic blood pressure—the clinical hallmark for detecting heart disorders. Peterson and his team have previously shown a strong link between frailty and chronic disease and mortality in populations.
This evidence, along with the recent findings of their study, should lead to clinicians considering grip strength as a way to screen individuals for future risk of functional decline, chronic disease, and even early mortality, says Peterson. Shows ability to adopt usage.
“Screening for grip strength would provide an opportunity to design interventions to delay or prevent the onset or progression of these adverse ‘age-related’ health events,” he added. “We are pushing physicians to start using grip strength in their clinics and only geriatrics have covered it. However, not many are using it, even though we have looked at hundreds of publications That grip strength is a really good measure of health.”
what is inflammation
The investigators say that future research is needed to better understand the association between grip strength and the acceleration of aging, including how inflammatory conditions contribute to age-related frailty and mortality. Previous studies have shown that chronic inflammation in old age – better known as ‘inflammation’ – is a significant risk factor for mortality in older adults. This inflammation is also associated with lower grip strength and may be an important predictor on the pathway between lower grip strength and both disability and chronic disease multimorbidity.
Additionally, Peterson says, studies should look at how lifestyle and behavioral factors, such as physical activity and diet, may affect grip strength and acceleration with age.
“Healthy dietary habits are very important, but I think regular exercise is the most important thing a person can do to maintain health throughout life,” he said. “We can show this with biomarkers like DNA methylation age, and we can also test it with a clinical characteristic like grip strength.”