Tests of physical abilities predict early mortality

Researchers used data from a national UK survey in which people aged 53 years were asked to demonstrate hand grip strength, the speed at which they could rise from a seated position and their balance while standing, then were followed up for 13 years.

Those with low scores on the tasks at baseline were more likely to have less healthy lifestyles and a higher prevalence of self-reported cardiovascular disease, diabetes and severe respiratory symptoms, the researchers found.

They also had a 12-fold increased risk of death before the age of 66.