A systematic analysis of temporal trends in the handgrip strength of 2,216,320 children and adolescents between 1967 and 2017 Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • OBJECTIVE:To estimate national and international temporal trends in handgrip strength for children and adolescents, and to examine relationships between trends in handgrip strength and trends in health-related and sociodemographic indicators. METHODS:Data were obtained through a systematic search of studies reporting temporal trends in the handgrip strength for apparently healthy 9-17-year-olds, and by examining large national fitness datasets. Temporal trends at the country-sex-age level were estimated by sample-weighted regression models relating the year of testing to mean handgrip strength. International and national trends were estimated by a post-stratified population-weighting procedure. Pearson's correlations quantified relationships between national trends in handgrip strength and national trends in health-related/sociodemographic indicators. RESULTS:2,216,320 children and adolescents from 13 high-, 5 upper-middle-, and 1 low-income countries/special administrative regions between 1967 and 2017 collectively showed a moderate improvement of 19.4% (95% CI 18.4-20.4) or 3.8% per decade (95% CI 3.6-4.0). The international rate of improvement progressively increased over time, with more recent values (post-2000) close to two times larger than those from the 1960s/1970s. Improvements were larger for children (9-12 years) compared to adolescents (13-17 years), and similar for boys and girls. Trends differed between countries, with relationships between national trends in handgrip strength and national trends in health-related/sociodemographic indicators negligible-to-weak and not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS:There has been a substantial improvement in absolute handgrip strength for children and adolescents since 1967. There is a need for improved international surveillance of handgrip strength, especially in low- and middle-income countries, to more confidently determine true international trends. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42013003657.

authors

  • Dooley, FL
  • Kaster, T
  • Fitzgerald, JS
  • Walch, TJ
  • Annandale, M
  • Ferrar, Katia
  • Lang, JJ
  • Smith, JJ
  • Tomkinson, GR

publication date

  • 2020