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Walking Linked to Reduced Heart Failure Risk in 60+ Women

By jeremyc | September 6, 2018

The habit of regular walking is linked to many health benefits. A new study adds another benefit to this list: reduced risk of developing 2 heart failure subtypes in older women.

Congestive heart failure is a health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In the U.S., no fewer than 5 million individuals have this condition.

Although the name of the condition might suggest a complete stopping of the heart, that’s not the case. What happens is that the heart stops pumping adequate amounts of blood.

Anyone, irrespective of his or her age, can develop this condition, but it is more common in people aged 60 and over. People with increased risk of heart failure should exercise more, avoid smoking, and consume foods that are good for the heart.

In this study the researchers set out to find how walking affects the risk of developing 2 subtypes of congestive heart failure: preserved ejection fraction heart failure, in which the ventricles are unable to hold adequate amounts of blood, and reduced ejection fraction heart failure, in which the blood pumped by the left ventricle is not enough to meet the body’s needs.

The first type is more common in older adults while the second type has a less encouraging outlook.

In their research, the experts focused on more than 35,000 women who have had either of the heart failure subtypes.

The researchers noted that every additional 30 to 45 mins of exercise, irrespective of its intensity, reduced heart failure risk in older women noticeably. Specifically, preserved ejection fraction heart failure risk was reduced by 8% and reduced ejection fraction heart failure by 10%.

According to the researchers, these findings are encouraging, as well as significant. As heart failure risk is considerably higher in people aged 60 and over, regular exercise can help them lower their risk.

Also, the researchers remarked, that their study gives people living with reduced ejection fraction heart failure something to cheer for because this subtype has a much poorer outlook compared to the other. This study has become the first one to show exercise levels are linked to a reduced risk of heart failure in women with reduced ejection fraction.

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