This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the impact of age and gender on 4 measures of grip and pinch force of well elderly community dwellers and to provide normative values. The hypotheses were that age and gender affect pinch and grip force and that these 2 factors might interact. Hand strength of 224 seniors 65–92 years old was tested. Grip and pinch force decreased in successively older age groups past 65 years. Men’s grip force exceeded that of women in all age groups. Men’s hand-force decline was steeper than that of women over successive age groups, suggesting that gender differences in force decreased with age. Trends were the same for all 4 types of grip- and pinch-force measurement but were most clearly visible in grip and key-pinch force. Norms were provided for seniors age 65–85+ years in 5-yr increments.
Jansen and Phillip are with the Dept. of Physical Therapy, and Niebuhr, Coussirat, Hawthorne, and Moreno, the Dept. of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Texas Medical Branch–SAHS, Galveston, TX 77555-1144.