Health Of Young People Has Declined Strongly In The Last 30 Years

haidut

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When you first look at the study, it seems a fairly benign and almost irrelevant finding. In fact, the study authors try to present it just as such, as they are probably unaware of the implications of their findings. What is more, the study authors call for revision of the health standards in order to reclassify their findings as even more benign. Bottom line is this - over the last 30 years the hand-grip strength of both men and women has declined by about ~20% on average. What is particularly troubling is that the decline in hand-grip strength is most obvious in young people (i.e. those under 30 years of age). Now, people on the forum may ask what on earth does hand grip strength have to do with health. Well, quite a bit apparently. Hand-grip strength is currently the best known predictor of future development of CVD as well as overall health and risk of all-cause mortality. So, this study confirms what I have suspected for a long time - i.e. our health is dramatically worse than the health of our parents (and especially grandparents) when they were our age. So much for "40 is the new 20" and other marketing imbecility like that...

Millennials May Be Losing Their Grip
"...Millennials, the thoroughbreds of texting, may lag behind previous generations when it comes to old-fashioned hand strength. In a study of Americans ages 20-34, occupational therapists found that men younger than 30 have significantly weaker hand grips than their counterparts in 1985 did. The same was true of women ages 20-24, according to the study published online by the Journal of Hand Therapy a few months back. The findings suggest that it's time to update what constitutes normal hand strength. The norms are used to assess the severity of injuries and how well people are recovering. "Work patterns have changed dramatically since 1985, when the first norms were established," says Elizabeth Fain of Winston-Salem State University, who led the study with Cara Weatherford. "As a society, we're no longer agricultural or manufacturing ... What we're doing more now is technology-related, especially for millennials."

"...A hearty hold indicates not only sturdy hand muscles, but also strong wrists and arms. In 1985, men ages 20-24 had an average right-handed grip of 121 pounds and left-handed grip of 105 pounds. Today, men that age had grips of only 101 and 99 pounds, the study found. Men 25-29 posted losses of 26 and 19 pounds. Women ages 20-24 showed smaller, but significant losses in their right hand grip. With right-handed grips today of 60 pounds, they've lost roughly 10 pounds of force. (The researchers found strength diminished in men 30-34 as well, but there were only four participants in this age group.)"

Grip strength may provide clues to heart health - Harvard Health Blog
How Your Hands Help Fight Off Heart Disease and Stroke
Your Handshake May Say A Lot About Your Health

"...A strong or weak hand grip carries more than just social cues. It may also help measure an individual’s risk for having a heart attack or stroke, or dying from cardiovascular disease. As part of the international Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, researchers measured grip strength in nearly 140,000 adults in 17 countries and followed their health for an average of four years. A device called a dynamometer was used to assess grip strength. Each 11-pound decrease in grip strength over the course of the study was linked to a 16% higher risk of dying from any cause, a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, a 9% higher risk of stroke, and a 7% higher risk of heart attack. The connections between grip strength and death or cardiovascular disease remained strong even after the researchers adjusted for other things that can contribute to heart disease or death, such as age, smoking, exercise, and other factors. The findings were published online inThe Lancet. Interestingly, grip strength was a better predictor of death or cardiovascular disease than blood pressure."

"...In an effort to measure the prognostic value of grip strength in socioculturally and economically diverse countries, Leong and his colleagues followed about 140,000 adults aged 35 to 70 over a period of four years in 17 countries. They were taking part in the institute's Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. The participants received surveys that elicited self-reported demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, comorbid disorders, education levels, employment status, physical activity levels, tobacco and alcohol use, and dietary patterns. Antropometrics — the measure of physical sizes and shapes in humans — blood pressure, and muscle strength — measured via handgrip dynamometer — were assessed. The findings revealed for every 5-kilogram (11 pounds) decline in grip strength, there was a one in six increased risk of death from any cause. There was the same 17 percent higher risk of death from either heart disease or stroke, or non-cardiovascular conditions. The correlations with grip strength were not accounted for by differences in age, sex, educational level, and physical activity, among many others."
 

Koveras

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haidut

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Interesting.

Since dopamine has a role in the regulation of muscle mass and force production, I wonder if the decreased grip strength is related to decreased dopaminergic tone / increased serotonergic tone, increased SSRI use, increased stress, increased endogenous/phyto/xeno -estrogens, etc.

Activation of the dopamine 1 and dopamine 5 receptors increase skeletal muscle mass and force production under non-atrophying and atrophying conditions

Oh, absolutely. Caffeine, which has pronounced functionally dopaminergic effects, increases grip strength and so to serotonin antagonist like cyproheptadine and mianserin, as well as dopamine agonists like lisuride and pramipexole. There is a reason most dopaminergic drugs are banned in professional sports :):
 

paymanz

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very interesting ,strong warm hands!

being strong is a part of health.but ppl some times mistake having big puffy muscles with being strong,or being able to lift heavy weights,most healthy ppl i saw were the ones whom fairly lean,and yet very strong with good hand grips.there is a lot of reasons behind it,neurotransmitters , hormones, there is a lot of pathways they can effect body that no one even knows about them.

also having good structures-bones ,connective tissue-play important role,in grip strength.good connective tissue means good elasticity of aorta,aorta with good tone doesnt let plaques penetrate in and accumulate here.

tao practitioners , and their practice to retain the "chi"- and co2!
 

Jayfish

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Interesting.

Since dopamine has a role in the regulation of muscle mass and force production, I wonder if the decreased grip strength is related to decreased dopaminergic tone / increased serotonergic tone, increased SSRI use, increased stress, increased endogenous/phyto/xeno -estrogens, etc.

Activation of the dopamine 1 and dopamine 5 receptors increase skeletal muscle mass and force production under non-atrophying and atrophying conditions

While all that might factor in, grip strength is directly related to repetitive strength work. Kids in the last 30 years grew up with tv, video games and internet. Probably halved their time outdoors and are pampered physically compared to older generations, little to no chores, no physical labor jobs, etc. Also physical jobs have declined dramatically and desk jobs have exploded.

So yea, we're definitely being poisoned by estrogen and whatnot, but I think that lack of exercise from a young is what this is mostly all about.
 

Tarmander

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Oh yeah...everyone knows that back in 1985 we were basically all computerless farmers and spent our off time hunting and throwing spears...
 

Tarmander

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Talk about hyperbole. :eyeroll:

Ha I was not actually responding to you, I did not see your previous comment when I wrote mine. I was responding to the study which talked about how different life was back in 1985, like it was some type of Paleolithic time before agriculture. I guess we didn't have roundup so much back then.

Edit: this line "As a society, we're no longer agricultural or manufacturing ... What we're doing more now is technology-related, especially for millennials."
 

haidut

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Ha I was not actually responding to you, I did not see your previous comment when I wrote mine. I was responding to the study which talked about how different life was back in 1985, like it was some type of Paleolithic time before agriculture. I guess we didn't have roundup so much back then.

Edit: this line "As a society, we're no longer agricultural or manufacturing ... What we're doing more now is technology-related, especially for millennials."

Yeah, that's the part that actually gets me angry. Not only were the scientists not aware of the huge implications of hand grip strength on overall health and mortality (or were they?? <hint> conspiracy</hint>) but instead of acknowledging that this downwards trend is worrisome they propose that instead we redefine what is healthy to "normalize" the current picture of how feeble we have become.
 
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Jayfish

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Ha I was not actually responding to you, I did not see your previous comment when I wrote mine. I was responding to the study which talked about how different life was back in 1985, like it was some type of Paleolithic time before agriculture. I guess we didn't have roundup so much back then.

Edit: this line "As a society, we're no longer agricultural or manufacturing ... What we're doing more now is technology-related, especially for millennials."

Hah! I suppose you are right in a way though,it's hard to believe that 1985 is already 30 years ago.

Haidut, that is beyond scary that it doesn't bother these people to think that our race is basically deteriorating at a rapid pace.
 

Tarmander

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Hah! I suppose you are right in a way though,it's hard to believe that 1985 is already 30 years ago.

Haidut, that is beyond scary that it doesn't bother these people to think that our race is basically deteriorating at a rapid pace.

Yeah it is kind of scary. I listen to history a lot...I think if it wasn't for our technology the Mongols would have come and raided away all our belongings by now. Talk about weakness
 

Koveras

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While all that might factor in, grip strength is directly related to repetitive strength work. Kids in the last 30 years grew up with tv, video games and internet. Probably halved their time outdoors and are pampered physically compared to older generations, little to no chores, no physical labor jobs, etc. Also physical jobs have declined dramatically and desk jobs have exploded.

So yea, we're definitely being poisoned by estrogen and whatnot, but I think that lack of exercise from a young is what this is mostly all about.

Very true, and nothing acts in isolation.

Maybe maternal PUFAs, stress, and estrogen set up a higher maladaptive tone in a child. An authoritarian school system (with no or minimal physical activity) sets up a higher maladaptive tone. Higher maladaptive tone / lower adaptive tone reduces desire for physical activity and exploration. Stimulating tv/video games/internet reinforce lack of activity. Lack of chores/physical labour reinforces lack of activity. Lack of activity reinforces maladaptive tone. Etc.
 

Jayfish

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Very true, and nothing acts in isolation.

Maybe maternal PUFAs, stress, and estrogen set up a higher maladaptive tone in a child. An authoritarian school system (with no or minimal physical activity) sets up a higher maladaptive tone. Higher maladaptive tone / lower adaptive tone reduces desire for physical activity and exploration. Stimulating tv/video games/internet reinforce lack of activity. Lack of chores/physical labour reinforces lack of activity. Lack of activity reinforces maladaptive tone. Etc.

Very true as well. And I was thinking that daily physical activity from a young age is probably the key factor in keeping a strong metabolism. So it's a double whammy for kids, being inactive and blasted with pufa, radiation and estrogen.
 

GAF

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Yeah, that's the part that actually gets me angry. Not only were the scientists not aware of the huge implications of hand grip strength on overall health and mortality (or were they?? <hint> conspiracy</hint>) but instead of acknowledging that this downwards trend is worrisome they propose that instead we redefine what is healthy to "normalize" the current picture of how feeble we have become.

Could someone please call the authors of this study and interview them?

In 1968, when I was 12, the middle aged and up men at church services would crush my hand as they greeted me. Compared to the average 60 year old today, those guys were animals.
 

Birdie

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Back in the 80s the Hand Grip was a standard part of the new patient exam where I was. Hadn't thought of it for a long time.
Probably it has new normals by now to reflect the present population. Yep... Fascinating study find haidut.
 

sladerunner69

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Isn't it obvious that hand grip strength declining is a result of the overall decline in blue collar labour and physical activities? Todays young people such as myself are much more sedentary than they used to be, they don't know how to use tools, even basic things like shovels amd lawnmowers are not used by us. Most of us sot around most of the day, maybe doing some walking or ellyptical at the gym, television, desk job/studying... very little manual labour is necessitatrd from modern living. It is manual labour that develops grip strength, my father for example has been an electrician for a few decades and has a stronger grip than i do. I am 23 and a somewhat accomplished weight lifter and athlete. I can bench 295 and deep squat 405 for single reps. My father grip tested harder than me and has the forearms to show it, and he has never taken qeight training very seriously at all.
 

encerent

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Bad health has also made people uglier. Normal people looked gorgeous in the 50's.
 

mujuro

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Oh, absolutely. Caffeine, which has pronounced functionally dopaminergic effects, increases grip strength and so to serotonin antagonist like cyproheptadine and mianserin, as well as dopamine agonists like lisuride and pramipexole. There is a reason most dopaminergic drugs are banned in professional sports :)

This reminds me of why anti doping is absurd. Someone here was actually being investigated for using corticosteroid cream for an injury. This was a national football player. They won't stop until athletes are fed a controlled, WADA approved liquid diet through a straw.
 
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