Asymmetrical Handgrip Strength Is Associated with Lower Cognitive Performance in the Elderly

Ju Young Choi, Sohyae Lee, Jin Young Min, Kyoung Bok Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background: Several studies have reported that handgrip strength (HGS) may be a sign of lower cognitive performance. However, studies supporting an association between asymmetrical HGS and cognitive function are lacking. This study aimed to determine the association between asymmetrical HGS and cognitive performance among the elderly. (2) Methods: The study sample included 2729 individuals aged ≥60 years-old who participated in the 2011–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The cognitive tests consisted of the word learning and recall modules from the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD), Animal Fluency Test, and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST). HGS was measured using a handgrip dynamometer, and asymmetrical HGS was used to calculate HGS. (3) Results: Of the 2729 participants, 53.0% were aged 60 to 69 years-old, and 47.0% were aged 70 years and older. All cognitive performance scores were significantly correlated with asymmetrical HGS in both age groups. After adjusting for con-founders, there was a significant association between DSST and HGS asymmetry in both age groups. Contrastingly, a significant association was only observed for the relationship between the CERAD test and HGS asymmetry in the ≥70 year-old group. (4) Conclusions: We found that low cognitive function was associated with asymmetrical HGS in elderly participants in the United States. Thus, asymmetrical HGS may be an important predictor of cognitive deficits. However, further research is required to confirm our results and to establish possible mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2904
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • asymmetric
  • cognitive impairment
  • handgrip strength
  • older people
  • risk factor


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