Research Impact: Muscular strength is a predictor of cardiometabolic disease risk, physical disabilities, mortality, and mental health across aging populations. There is evidence of sex-related differences in some of these associations (i.e., mortality); however, evidence of sex-related differences in associations with mental health is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine sex-related differences in cross-sectional and prospective associations between grip strength and depressive symptoms and status. Participants were community dwelling adults (N=4505; 56.5% female), aged ≥50 years. As a measure of muscular strength, grip strength (kg) of the dominant hand was assessed using a hand-held dynamometer at baseline. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale assessed depressive symptoms at baseline and two years later. The present findings indicate that grip strength was inversely associated with prevalent and incident depression in older adults, with stronger prospective associations observed among females than males.
McDowell CP, Gordon BR, Herring MP. Sex-related differences in the association between grip strength and depression: Results from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Experimental Gerontology. 2018. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2018.02.010