Weak Handshake? You May Be at Higher Risk of Stroke

And slow walkers may be at higher risk for dementia: study
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2012 12:20 PM CST
A weak grip was associated with higher risk of a stroke in later life, a new study found.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you're a slow walker or someone with a weak handshake, it may not bode well for your future. A new study finds that those who walk slowly may be more likely to develop dementia later in life, the BBC reports. Researchers looked at brain scans, walking speeds, and grip strength for 2,410 people aged, on average, 62 years. Eleven years later, 34 of them had developed dementia, and researchers found the risk was higher in those who had a slower pace.

In addition, 79 had had a stroke, and that risk was higher in people who had a weaker grip. "These are basic office tests which can provide insight into risk of dementia and stroke and can be easily performed by a neurologist or general practitioner," says the lead researcher, who also cautioned that more study is needed. A research manager at the Alzheimer's Society reinforces that notion, saying, "Before people take stock in the strength of a handshake or the speed you cross the road, more research is needed to understand why and what other factors are involved." (Read more Alzheimer's Disease stories.)

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