Aging is linked to several chronic diseases, including cognitive and muscular strength reduction. Previous research looked at the relationship between physical variables and cognitive decline; however, the degree and direction of the relationship between handgrip strength (HGS) and cognitive decline were not entirely known. Therefore, a large multicentric population investigated the link between HGS and cognitive impairment in numeracy, memory, and verbal fluency was investigated in a large multicentric population.

Longitudinal research of persons aged 50 and up from the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) was carried out using participants from 28 European nations. HGS measurements from a dynamometer and cognitive scores in numeracy, memory, and verbal fluency were analyzed biannually for four years. Individuals having Parkinson’s disease or a dementia diagnosis at the start of the trial were excluded. HGS was classified into quintiles based on gender to predict future cognitive impairment. Q1 (8-35kg), Q2 (36-41kg), Q3 (42-45kg), Q4 (46-50kg), and Q5 (46-50kg) were the HGS quintiles for males (51-80kg). HGS quintiles in women were Q1 (4-21kg), Q2 (22-25 kg), Q3 (26-28 kg), Q4 (29-32 kg), and Q5 (33-55 kg). As a reference, the first quintile in each sex was chosen. Different cognitive scores were considered in their logarithmical form as a function of HGS constantly in the examination of cognitive performance as a predictor of HGS decrease. General estimated equations were used to control for potential confounding factors such as baseline handgrip strength quintiles and time-varying covariates such as age, time, education, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, BMI index, chronic illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, functionality scores, and sarcopenia.

A total of 8,236 people were enrolled in the study; 55.73% were females with a mean age of 67.55 (8.4) years, while men had a mean age of 68.42 (7.7) years. There was a strong longitudinal connection between HGS and cognitive function in all three domains in both sexes, with the exception of numeracy in men.