The firmness of your handshake could reveal how likely you are to survive severe illness such as cancer.

A study has shown the strength of your grip is a good indicator of general robustness and can be used as a diagnostic tool for patients requiring critical care.

And all that is needed is a cheap and simple instrument for measuring force, known as a dynamometer.

Researchers at the McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory, at the Concordia University in Canada, studied 203 patients with advanced cancer.

They had to squeeze a dynamometer with their dominant hand. The stronger the grip, the better their health.

Professor Robert Kilgour said: ‘This measure is one of several to categorise patients according to the severity of their disease. It can help determine interventions they may need.

‘Because it requires minimal equipment, this method of evaluation is both portable and practical.

‘While other diagnostic tests rely on a patient’s self-reporting or examine related factors such as decreased body weight, the handgrip test directly focuses on body strength. Its precision allows doctors to better assess a patient’s decline.’

Professor Kilgour believes the study, published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer, could lead to a better quality of life for cancer sufferers.

He said: ‘The test may help all patients.’

source: Dailymail UK