Friday, October 14, 2011

Can Basic Physical Tests Help Predict Death Risk?

(HealthDay News) -- Testing simple physical abilities may help predict a person's risk of death, suggests a new study.

Measuring basic capabilities such as grip strength, walking speed, rising from a chair, or balancing on one leg reveal a person's capacity to perform everyday tasks, explained the researchers at University College London in the United Kingdom.

The study authors analyzed 33 studies that examined physical capabilities in people of any age and recorded subsequent deaths among the participants. Overall, those who had poorer results on physical function tests had a consistently higher risk of death.

In 14 studies that included a total of 53,476 people, the death rate was 1.67 times higher for people with the weakest grip strength than for those with the strongest grip.

Five studies that included a total of 14,692 people found that the death rate was 2.87 times higher for the slowest walkers than for the fastest walkers. Read more...

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