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Association between grip strength and bone mineral density in general US population of NHANES 2013-2014

Luo Y1Jiang K2He M3,4.

Arch Osteoporos. 2020 Mar 16;15(1):47. doi: 10.1007/s11657-020-00719-2.



Association between strength of nonadjacent muscles and bone mineral density is unclear. We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to convince the effect of grip strength on femoral neck and lumbar spine mineral density in the general US population. This research can broaden the area of muscle-bone interaction.


Grip test measures the maximum isotonic strength of hand and forearm and is often used as an indicator of general muscle strength. Muscle has been shown to exert positive effects on bone health, and studies are needed to test whether grip strength can be associated with bone mineral density of nonadjacent bones. The aim of this study is to assess whether grip strength is an independent predictor for bone mineral density (BMD) of femoral neck and total lumbar spine in the general US population.


We used the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2013-2014, and 1850 participants aged from 40 to 80 years old were included in the analysis. Grip strength was recorded as the largest reading of three efforts of one’s dominant hand using a handgrip dynamometer. Femoral neck and lumbar spine BMDs were measured through Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were done to examine the association between grip strength and BMDs.


After adjusting for age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), use of female hormones, smoking habit, drinking habit, family history of osteoporosis, use of calcium and vitamin D supplements, physical activity, serum calcium, and phosphorus levels, grip strength is associated with increased femoral neck and total lumbar spine BMDs in men (P < 0.001, P = 0.005), premenopausal women (P = 0.040, P = 0.014), and postmenopausal women (P = 0.016, P = 0.012).


Our results suggest that (1) grip strength can be associated with BMD of nonadjacent bones, and (2) grip strength of dominant hand can be an indicator of BMD in the general US population across genders and menopausal status.