The use of hand grip strength as a predictor of nutrition status in hospital patients

Document Type

Journal Article




Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences




This article was originally published as: Flood, A. E., Chung, A. M., Parker , H., Kearns , V., & O'Sullivan, T. (2013). The use of hand grip strength as a predictor of nutrition status in hospital patients. Clinical Nutrition, 33(1), 106-114 . Original article available here


Background & aims: Hand grip strength (HGS) has been found to respond to nutrition deprivation and repletion but few studies have investigated its use as an independent nutrition assessment tool. We conducted an observational study to determine if HGS can predict nutrition status independently of other factors. Methods: The Patient Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) was used to determine nutrition status. PG-SGA and HGS measures were collected from 217 well nourished and malnourished hospital patients for cross-sectional analysis. Of the 217, 18 patients had these assessments repeated two weeks (±3 days) later to assess change. Correlation, and multiple linear and binary regression analyses were conducted. Results:HGS and PG-SGA score were significantly correlated (r = 0.292, P < 0.01). HGS was a significant independent predictor of PG-SGA score and category (P < 0.01), accounting for 4% and 9% of variability respectively. Change-in-HGS was an independent predictor of change-in-PG-SGA score (P = 0.04) and category (P = 0.06) over two weeks, accounting for 47% and 42% of variability respectively. Conclusions: Our results suggest that HGS can independently predict nutrition status and change in nutrition status defined by PG-SGA score and category, although future longer term research is required to confirm the use of HGS as an early detection tool for malnutrition risk.