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Table 1 Sample characteristics and prevalence of mean maximum grip strength among older South Africans by gender

From: Hand grip strength and associated factors in non-institutionalised men and women 50 years and older in South Africa

Variables Total sample Mean maximum grip strength (kg)1
Sociodemographics N (%) Male Female
M (SD) M (SD)
All 3840 37.9 (19.6) 31.5 (17.8)
Age in years (M, SD) 61.6 (9.5) 61.1 (9.1) 62.0 (9.7)
50–59 1695 (49.9) 40.4 (19.6) 32.9 (18.3)
60–69 1233 (30.6) 35.8 (19.6) 31.8 (17.9)
70–79 661 (14.0) 35.0 (19.2) 28.7 (16.5)
80 and over 251 (5.5) 31.1 (16.8) 25.2 (14.2)
Population group    
African Black 2053 (74.0) 38.9 (19.6) 31.2 (16.4)
White 269 (9.3) 46.5 (22.3) 39.4 (22.2)
Coloured 655 (12.8) 34.5 (21.0) 28.8 (19.9)
Indian or Asian 307 (3.8) 33.0 (20.1) 31.2 (16.3)
Educational level    
No schooling 854 (25.2) 37.0 (17.4) 30.0 (17.2)
Less than primary 803 (24.0) 39.3 (23.2) 30.2 (17.6)
Primary 779 (22.4) 33.8 (17.5) 31.2 (16.9)
Secondary 923 (28.3) 41.0 (20.6) 35.5 (19.1)
Wealth    
Low 1482 (40.6) 37.2 (19.6) 29.7 (16.7)
Medium 731 (18.2) 39.2 (19.0) 31.4 (16.3)
High 1608 (41.2) 38.0 (19.7) 33.6 (19.7)
Geolocality    
Rural 1276 (35.1) 37.5 (19.5) 31.0 (16.3)
Urban 2561 (64.9) 38.1 (19.7) 31.8 (18.6)
Health variables    
Height (cms) [M (SD)] 158.5 (12.4)   
Underweight 184 (4.3) 28.8 (19.6) 32.6 (20.5)
Obese 1539 (46.7) 37.4 (19.8) 31.3 (17.7)
Cognitive functioning 1793 (52.0) 40.9 (20.3) 36.2 (19.0)
Self-rated health    
  Very good/good 1460 (37.9) 40.8 (18.9) 34.8 (19.3)
  Moderate 1681 (44.6) 37.1 (20.2) 30.1 (16.6)
  Bad/very bad 617 (17.5) 31.9 (18.3) 28.1 (16.7)
Functional disability    
  Low 1381 (34.5) 43.0 (20.4) 37.7 (20.9)
  Medium 1142 (28.3) 37.0 (16.0) 30.8 (15.4)
  High 1317 (37.2) 31.3 (19.2) 27.1 (15.4)
Chronic conditions (≥2 or more) 780 (21.5) 30.4 (18.5) 28.3 (17.7)
Depression 160 (4.0) 33.7 (21.0) 29.4 (20.0)
Daily tobacco use 810 (20.4) 39.4 (22.3) 31.4 (19.0)
Alcohol use (10 drinks or more a week) 158 (3.7) 41.6 (19.1) 23.2 (13.8)
Physical inactivity 2455 (60.5) 37.1 (20.0) 31.0 (18.3)
  1. 1294 (7.5%) were excluded from the sample since they reported to have had surgery on both their left and right arm, hand or wrist in the last 3 months or had arthritis or pain in both their left and right hand or wrist were excluded from the test.