Association of Absolute and Relative Handgrip Strength with Prevalent Metabolic Syndrome in Adults: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2014–2018

Sunghyun Hong, Minsuk Oh, Youngwon Kim, Justin Y. Jeon

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Abstract

Maintaining or improving muscular strength may be a key preventive strategy for metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, whether the association of handgrip strength (HGS), as a well-established marker of whole-body muscular strength, with the prevalent metabolic syndrome (MetS) varies with age stratification remains unclear. Additionally, whether absolute of relative HGS is superior to another in predicting MetS is less clear. We examined the association of both relative and absolute HGS with the prevalence of MetS in different age groups. Korean adults aged ≥19 years (n = 28,146; 55.7% female) from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2014–2018) were examined. HGS was categorized using tertile split (highest, intermediate, lowest) and participants were stratified into different age groups at 10-year intervals. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the association between absolute/relative HGS tertiles and MetS with adjustment for covariates. Lower odds of MetS were observed across lower absolute HGS tertiles and the associations were significant in young participants (19–29 years) in both sexes (odds ratio (OR): 0.59 (95% CI: 0.38–0.92) for intermediate and OR: 0.55 (95% CI: 0.34–0.89) for lowest in males; OR: 0.36 (95% CI: 0.20–0.65) for intermediate and OR: 0.42 (95% CI: 0.24–0.74) for lowest in females; all p < 0.05). By contrast, higher odds of MetS were observed across lower relative HGS in all age groups in both sexes (in total participants, OR: 2.32 (95% CI: 2.06–2.62) for intermediate and OR: 3.69 (95% CI: 3.27–4.16) for lowest in males and OR: 2.04 (95% CI: 1.83–2.28) for intermediate and OR: 3.28 (95% CI: 2.94–3.65) for lowest in females all p < 0.05). The associations of both absolute and relative HGS with MetS attenuated with an increase in age. Our findings suggest that poor relative HGS, as a marker of muscular strength, and not absolute HGS, may be associated with a higher risk of MetS in adults. Our findings also suggest that relative HGS may overestimate MetS in young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12585
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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