Moderate Exercise Correlates with Lower Risk of Heart Failure

The expected result emerges from the study results noted below, joining the mountain of evidence linking exercise and long term health. In human studies it is challenging to prove causation, but the evidence for regular moderate exercise to cause enhanced healthy longevity in animal studies is extensive, although unlike the practice of calorie restriction it apparently doesn't extend maximum life spans.

Why care about exercise when we are a few steps away from radical advances in medical science? Because we are still a few steps away. In terms of interaction with medicine your life to date is likely little different from that of your parents, and you will continue to age and decline like them until new medical technologies of rejuvenation arrive. That could be decades from now, even in this present age of revolutionary progress in biotechnology, so why shorten your odds of living long enough to benefit?

Researchers say more than an hour of moderate or half an hour of vigorous exercise per day may lower your risk of heart failure by 46 percent. Heart failure is a common, disabling disease that accounts for about 2 percent of total healthcare costs in industrialized countries. Risk of death within five years of diagnosis is 30 percent to 50 percent. Swedish researchers studied 39,805 people 20-90 years old who didn't have heart failure when the study began in 1997. Researchers assessed their total and leisure time activity at the beginning of the study and followed them to see how this was related to their subsequent risk of developing heart failure. They found that the more active a person, the lower their risk for heart failure.

The group with the highest leisure time activity (more than one hour of moderate or half an hour of vigorous physical activity a day) had a 46 percent lower risk of developing heart failure. Physical activity was equally beneficial for men and women. Those who developed heart failure were older, male, had lower levels of education, a higher body mass index and waist-hip ratio, and a history of heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. "You do not need to run a marathon to gain the benefits of physical activity - even quite low levels of activity can give you positive effects. Physical activity lowers many heart disease risk factors, which in turn lowers the risk of developing heart failure as well as other heart diseases."


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