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Increasing Physical Activity Levels In Middle-Age Decreases Heart Failure Risk

By jeremyc | June 8, 2018

There’s some good news for middle-aged individuals who at present are living a sedentary lifestyle. According to a new study, they can lower their chances of experiencing heart failure in old age by increasing their physical activity levels.

In this new study, the researchers found that by increasing exercise levels over a period of 6 years, middle-aged individuals can reduce their heart failure risk later in life. However, the opposite also holds true. Going 6 years without exercise in middle-age can increase the risk of suffering a heart failure in old age.

Heart failure affects no fewer than 6.5 million people in the U.S. In heart failure, the blood circulated by the heart is not sufficient to completely meet the needs of the body. This condition causes more hospitalization in people over 65 than any other condition.

In the new research, the study authors considered data of a previous study in which 11,351 people participated. The participants were monitored for heart-related diseases like stroke, heart failure, and heart attack, and the average follow-up period was 19 years.

The participants were asked to fill a questionnaire to assess how much exercise they did on a weekly basis at the start of the study and also after every six years. The participants were divided into 3 groups.

Poor – In this group came all those people, who didn’t exercise at all.

Intermediate – People who did vigorous exercise for 1-74 mins a week or moderate-intensity exercise for 1-149 mins a week were assigned to this group.

Recommended – These were those people who exercised vigorously for a minimum of 75 mins a week or did moderate exercise for a minimum of 150 mins a week.

People who fell in the “recommended” group both at the start of the study and then 6 years later recorded the sharpest fall in their risk of heart failure. The risk of heart failure of this group was reduced by 31 percent.

Doing more physical activity was also found to diminish heart failure risk. The heart failure risk of people who at the start of the study were in the “poor” group but then jumped to the “recommended” or “intermediate” group or who jumped from the “intermediate” group to the “recommended” group was decreased by approximately 12 percent.

However, people who reported reduced physical activity over a period of 6 years recorded an increment of 18 percent in their heart failure risk.

 

 

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