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01.12.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2018

Archives of Osteoporosis 1/2018

Grip strength cutpoints for youth based on a clinically relevant bone health outcome

Archives of Osteoporosis > Ausgabe 1/2018
Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Kelly Laurson, Gregory J. Welk, Joe Eisenmann, Luis Gracia-Marco, Enrique G. Artero, Francisco Ortega, Jonatan R. Ruiz, Luis A. Moreno, German Vicente-Rodriguez, Kathleen F. Janz
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11657-018-0502-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Jonatan R. Ruiz is part of PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity (PROFITH) research group.
Luis A. Moreno and German Vicente-Rodriguez are part of Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development (GENUD) research group.



The National Academy of Medicine recommends the handgrip for school-based surveillance of muscle strength for bone health. We established grip strength cutpoints that are linked to bone health in both US and European youth. These cutpoints could serve as a potential set of standards for surveillance and clinical applications.


The U.S. National Academy of Medicine and experts in Europe recommend the use of grip strength as a valuable and accessible musculoskeletal fitness measure due to its association with bone health. This is the first study to facilitate this recommendation by developing bone health-related grip strength cutpoints for youth based on empirical associations with the well accepted marker of bone development, i.e., height-adjusted total body less head bone mineral content (TBLH_BMC).


A purposive sample of healthy youth from Midwest USA (n = 433 youth; 14.1 ± 2.3 years; 1998–2004) and a random sample of healthy adolescents from Zaragoza, Spain (n = 355 youth; 14.9 ± 1.2 years; 2006–2007) were used to develop and test cut-points. Participants’ grip strength was measured using a hand-held dynamometer while height-adjusted TBLH_BMC was determined using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Grip strength scores were linked to TBLH_BMC using receiver operator characteristic curves, and grip strength cutpoints were tested based on the area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp), and predictive odds ratios. All analyses were conducted in 2016.


The AUC approximated or exceeded 0.80 for grip strength cutpoints, and the associated Se and Sp indices ranged from 53.6 to 92.5%. Sensitivity and Sp remained similar in the validation sample and those not meeting the grip strength cutpoints were five to eight times more likely to have insufficient TBLH_BMC, depending on their sex and cutpoint being considered.


Grip strength is strongly related to TBLH_BMC, and the proposed cutpoints demonstrated acceptable classification accuracy for screening healthy youth and tracking healthy bone development in community settings. The utility of the cutpoints should be further examined in more diverse populations of youth.

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