Relationship between handgrip strength and lung function in adults: a systematic review

Nnamdi Mgbemena, Anne Jones, Anthony Leicht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Handgrip strength (HGS) is a functional test that has been directly associated with lung function in some healthy populations; however, inconsistent findings have been reported for populations with chronic diseases. The aim of this study was to identify the relationship between HGS and lung function in both healthy and unhealthy adults. A systematic search was conducted using six databases from their earliest inception to February 29, 2020. Two authors reviewed and assessed methodological quality of eligible studies using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool (CCAT). Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria with 8 and 17 studies examining healthy and unhealthy populations, respectively. Reported average methodological quality of all included studies using the CCAT was 38–85% with most rated as Good to Excellent. Despite the use of heterogeneous equipment and protocols during HGS and lung function assessments, significant positive and moderate correlations and/or regression coefficients were reported for healthy populations consistently. Conversely, the reported relationships between HGS and lung function for unhealthy counterparts were variable. Handgrip strength was significantly associated with lung function in most healthy adults. Future robust studies are needed to confirm the suitability of HGS to assess lung function for healthy and unhealthy adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1908-1927
Number of pages20
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


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