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Epidemiol Health. 2013;35:e2013001. doi: 10.4178/epih/e2013001. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

The Relationship between Smoking, Socioeconomic Status and Grip Strength among Community-dwelling Elderly Men in Korea: Hallym Aging Study.

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Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea. ; Hallym Research Institute of Clinical Epidermiology, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.



Low grip strength is associated with decline in bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of spine fracture among the elderly. Smoking, a major factor determining BMD, is also known to have an indirect effect on bone loss. This study investigated whether smoking is associated with grip strength in the community-dwelling elderly in Korea.


This study was an outcome of the second of three waves of the Hallym Aging Study from January to May 2007, a population-based study of Koreans aged 45 years and upwards dwelling in Chuncheon. Its 218 subjects comprised men aged 65 years or over. They were evaluated at a general hospital for socioeconomic status, smoking history, and various clinical measures including grip strength.


Grip strength was higher in non-, ex-, and current smokers (33.7 kg, 30.6 kg, and 29.3 kg, respectively). Current smoking was found to increase the risk of decreased grip strength (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 4.58; 95% confidence interval [CI],1.31 to 16.04) compared with non-smoking, after adjustment for potential covariates including socioeconomic status. After adjustment for smoking effect, education of fewer than six years and monthly income of fewer than 500,000 Korean won increased the risk of decreased grip strength compared with education of more than six years (aOR, 2.88; 95% CI, 1.08 to 7.66) and monthly income of more than 1,500,000 Korean won (aOR, 2.86; 95% CI, 1.08 to 7.54).


These results showed that current smoking, low education and low income were independent risk factors for decreased grip strength among elderly men in Korea.


Elderly men; Hand strength; Smoking; Socioeconomic

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