Praetorius Björk et al., 2016. I forgot when I lost my grip—strong associations between cognition and grip strength in level of performance and change across time in relation to impending death


An association between level of cognitive function and grip strength is well established, whereas evidence for longitudinal associations of change in the 2 functions is still unclear. We examined associations between cognition and grip strength in levels of performance and in longitudinal change in late life in a population-based sample, aged ≥80 years at baseline, followed until death. The sample consisted of 449 nondemented individuals drawn from the OCTO-Twin Study. A test battery assessing 6 cognitive domains and grip strength was administered at 5 occasions with measurements intervals of 2 years. We fitted time to death bivariate growth curve models, adjusted for age, education, and sex which resulted in associations between grip strength and cognition in both levels of performance (across all cognitive domains) and rates of change (in 4 of 6 domains). These results show that cognition and grip strength change conjointly in later life and that the association between cognition and grip strength is stronger before death than earlier in life.