Grip strength test may reveal diabetes

There is research out at the University of Florida that might save your life.

Your grip strength is what researchers at the University of Florida studied, using national data from early 2,000 people, who might be missed when screening for diabetes and hypertension. They’re called “skinny fat” --  while at a healthy weight, they may be not so healthy on the inside.  

Dr. Arch Mainous lead the research.  He is a professor at UF as well as the Chair of the Department of Health Services Research Management and Policy.

“What we found was that it actually is a very good predictor, among that population, for having undiagnosed diabetes, and undiagnosed hypertension,” he said.

Here’s how it works: you grab a device that’s about the size of a small portable laptop, and just squeeze. The results have to do with the amount of muscle mass in your body’s composition.

Dr. Mainous explained, “If somebody shows up, and they have a low grip strength, they’re likely to have undiagnosed diabetes.”

The implications could be life-saving for many people, he said.  “It’s very gratifying,” He explained. “The whole goal, I think , should be, when we do these studies, it should have an impact and actually improve care, and potentially save lives.”

Dr. Mainous said they’ve already started laying the groundwork to get devices like the ones you saw, into your doctor’s office.