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Handgrip strength is associated with suicidal thoughts in men: Cross-sectional analyses from NHANES

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posted on 2023-08-30, 16:34 authored by Chao Cao, Qinran Liu, Lin Yang, Xiaobin Zheng, Ping Lan, Ai Koyanagi, Davy Vancampfort, Pinar Soysal, Nicola Veronese, Brendon Stubbs, Joseph Firth, Lee Smith
Objective: To investigate the association between handgrip strength and suicidal thoughts in a representative sample of the US adult population using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Population and Methods: Data from two waves of NHANES (2011–2014) were aggregated. Handgrip strength in kilogram (kg) was defined as the maximum value from the dominant hand. Suicidal thoughts were assessed using one question “Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by the following problem: Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way?” and dichotomized to no (not at all) and yes (several days/ more than half the days/ nearly every day). Gender-specific logistic regressions were carried out to analyze associations between handgrip strength and suicidal thoughts. Results: Data on total of 8903 adults (mean age 47.4±0.4 years) were analyzed. Each 5kg increase in handgrip strength was associated with a 16% reduced odds of having suicidal thoughts (0.84, 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.95) among the overall male population. These associations were stronger in male aged 20-39 years (0.83, 95% CI: 0.70 to 0.98), and 40-64 years (0.73, 95% CI: 0.63 to 0.85). In contrast, no associations were observed in females of all age groups. Conclusions: Males younger than 65 years old with low handgrip strength are significantly more likely to have suicidal thoughts demonstrating a dose-response relationship. Future research is required to confirm/refute our findings and establish if strength interventions can reduce suicidal thoughts.



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Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports





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Faculty of Science & Engineering

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