Objectives: Association of grip strength (GS) with anthropometric parameters has been reported. Our objective was to assess grip strength in 6 to 18-year-old healthy Indian children (urban and rural) and study the association of GS with body composition.
Methods: This was a part of a multicenter, cross-sectional, observational school-based study; multi-stage stratified random sampling was carried out and children (n=1980) from various urban (n=1041, Girls: 556) and rural (n=940, Girls: 474) parts of India were assessed (20162017). Anthropometric measurements, body composition by Bioelectric Impedance Analysis viz Fat-free Mass (FFM), Fat % (FATP), Fat Mass (FATM), Muscle Mass (MM) and grip strength measurements (digital hand dynamometer) were carried out.
Results: Mean age was 13.3±2.2 years. Mean GS was significantly higher in boys (19.6±9.17 kg) than in girls (14.3±5.3 kg) (P<0.05) and increased with age in both genders. After 12 years, an increase in GS plateaued in girls but not boys. Mean GS was significantly higher in urban (21.05±9.7) than in rural boys (17.8±8.2) (P<0.05). Mean GS in urban (14.9±5.2) and rural girls (13.8±5.5) was comparable but significantly less than both urban and rural boys (P<0.05). Positive significant correlations of GS were observed with FATM, FATP, FFM, and MM. Degree of correlation varied, with highest being in urban boys (0.82 for FFM and MM, 0.35, 0.17 for FFM and FATP) and then gradually decreasing in the order of rural boys (0.73 for FFM and MM, 0.25, 0.15 for FFM and FATP), urban girls (0.53 for FFM and MM 0.39, 0.33 for FFM and FATP) and rural girls (0.42 for FFM and MM 0.30, 0.31 for FFM and FATP) (P<0.05 for all). To normalize for FFM, GS for FFM ratio was computed. In boys, GS for FFM ratio increased with age, in girls, after 14 years of age, a decrease was noted.
Conclusion: Age-dependent increase in GS was strongly related to FFM. Lower GS in rural children and in girls is a matter of concern and needs urgent attention.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests.