Association between hand grip strength and impaired health-related quality of life in Korean cancer survivors: A cross-sectional study

Jeongki Paek, Yoon Ji Choi

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Objectives To assess the association between hand grip strength (HGS) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among Korean cancer survivors. Design Population-based cross-sectional study. Setting A nationally representative population survey data (face-to-face interviews and health examinations were performed in mobile examination centres). Participants A total of 1037 cancer survivors (person with cancer of any type who is still living) with available data on HGS and HRQoL in the sixth and seventh Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2014-2017). Primary outcome measures Prevalence of impaired HRQoL by HGS. Results Among 1037 cancer survivors (60.7% women, mean age=62.2 years), 19.2% of them had weak HGS according to gender-specific cut-off values (lowest quintile<29.7 kg in men and <19.7 kg in women). In the study population, the most common cancer site was the stomach, followed by the thyroid, breast, colorectal and cervix. Individuals with weak HGS showed statistically significantly increased impairment in all five dimensions of the EuroQoL-5 dimension (EQ-5D) compared with those in patients with normal HGS. In a multinomial logistic regression analysis, impaired HRQoL (some or extreme problem in EQ-5D) was significantly reduced in each dimension of the EQ-5D, except for anxiety/depression, when HGS was increased. The OR for impaired HRQoL ranged from 0.86 to 0.97 per 1 kg increase in HGS in four dimensions (mobility, self-care, usual activity and pain/discomfort). Conclusions Weak HGS was associated with impaired HRQoL in cancer survivors. Future longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the causality between HGS and HRQoL in cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere030938
JournalBMJ open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1



  • cancer survivors
  • hand strength
  • Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • neoplasms
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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