A strong handshake could indicate a healthy heart

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A strong handshake could be an indication of a healthy heart, a new study suggests.

Greater handgrip strength was associated with less cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling, which are indicators of long-term cardiovascular disease. The study’s results could help identify those at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

“Remodeling/hypertrophy, which may be easier understood as a form of reshaping of the heart muscle, is a type of disease that can lead to a weaker heart and that mostly occurs in older individuals,” said Dr. Sebastian Beyer, an internal medicine physician in Boston and lead author of the study.

“The results of our study indicate that better muscular strength, as measured by handgrip strength, may be associated with fewer changes (reshaping) of the heart. Less reshaping of the heart is associated with fewer cardiovascular complications,” Beyer added.

The research, published Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE, compared handgrip strength with cardiac structure and function among 4,654 adults in the United Kingdom. Participants were men and women, aged 40 to 69, who were recruited between 2006 and 2010 in 22 centers across the country.

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