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From Mark's Daily Apple
This isn’t a Homeric epic. There are no oracles laying out our destiny and predicting our inevitable demise. But even if we can’t know the precise date of our death, we can use certain biomarkers, measurements, and characteristics to make predictions—with a reasonable amount of accuracy—about a person’s propensity to kick the bucket.
As is the case with any observational data, these predictors may not be malleable. And if they are malleable, actively changing them won’t necessarily confer the longevity they’re associated with. Getting plastic surgery to appear younger probably won’t make you live any longer. But they do tell a story. They suggest the qualities, activities, behaviors, and exercise patterns that may, if maintained, lead to a better, longer life. At the very worst, walking a bit more briskly and gaining some lean muscle won’t hurt you, and it will very likely help you.
So let’s take a look at ten of the most interesting predictors of longevity:
1. Handgrip strength.
You know your grandpa with the vice grip for a handshake? Or that old lady who simply would not give up her hold on those plush towels last Black Friday at the Walmart despite you yanking her around like a rag doll? They’ll probably live a long time.
In middle-aged and elderly people, grip strength consistently predicts mortality risk from all causes. It’s even better than blood pressure. In older disabled women, grip strength predicts all-cause mortality, even when controlling for disease status, inflammatory load, depression, nutritional status, and inactivity. Poor grip strength is even an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes across all ethnicities.