Reduced grip strength potentially indicates depression: Investigating multicontinental databases

Jae Won Oh, Sun Mi Kim, Deokjong Lee, Dong Keon Yon, Seung Won Lee, Lee Smith, Karel Kostev, Ai Koyanagi, Marco Solmi, Andre F. Carvalho, Jae Il Shin, Nak Hoon Son, San Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Multi-national studies in the association between handgrip strength and depression in middle and older aged adults are limited. Hence, Brazil, China, Europe, Korea, United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) datasets were utilized to investigate this association. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 51,285 participants aged >45 years. Handgrip strength scores were divided into quartiles, groups 1 (highest) to 4 (lowest) in each database, and depression measures converted to binary scores. Results: Males in China and UK reported higher adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of depression for groups 2, 3, and 4 than for group 1. Brazil, US, and Korea reported greater aORs in groups 3 and 4 whereas Europe demonstrated increased aORs for group 4 only. Among females, China, Brazil, US, and Korea showed high aORs across all groups, while UK and Europe reported increased aORs for group 4 only. Highest ORs were reported from Korea in group 4 for males (aOR: 3·09; 95 % CI: 2·15–4·43; p < 0·001) and females (aOR: 3·74; 95 % CI: 2·78–5·03; p < 0·001). When removing the regional factor, aORs were higher in lower groups, with the highest reported from group 4 for males (aOR: 2·32; 95 % CI: 2·09–2·58; p < 0·001) and females (aOR: 2·11; 95 % CI: 1·95–2·29; p < 0·001). Limitations: Being a cross-sectional study, the results were not able to establish the causal direction between handgrip strength and depression. Conclusion: Lower handgrip strength was associated with an increased likelihood of depression. Early assessment of handgrip strength may identify populations at-risk for depression among middle and older aged adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-434
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a faculty research grant (No. 6-2020-0165 ) of Yonsei University College of Medicine , South Korea and Bisa Research Grant of Keimyung University (No. 2022-0314 ), South Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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