Impact of Mid-Life Fitness on Later Risk of Age-Related Disease

How you manage your health in earlier parts of your life will have an effect further down the line: "To examine the association between midlife fitness and chronic disease outcomes in later life, participant data from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study were linked with Medicare claims. We studied 18,670 healthy participants (21.1% women; median age, 49 years) who survived to receive Medicare coverage from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2009. Fitness estimated by Balke treadmill time was analyzed [according] to age- and sex-specific quintiles. Eight common chronic conditions were defined [and] associations between midlife fitness and the number of conditions were assessed. ... After 120,780 person-years of Medicare exposure with a median follow-up of 26 years, the highest quintile of fitness [was] associated with a lower incidence of chronic conditions [in men and women]. After multivariate adjustment, higher fitness [was] associated with a lower risk of developing chronic conditions in [men and women]. ... In this cohort of healthy middle-aged adults, fitness was significantly associated with a lower risk of developing chronic disease outcomes during 26 years of follow-up. These findings suggest that higher midlife fitness may be associated with the compression of morbidity in older age."



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