Exercise, Physical Fitness Bring Cardiovascular Benefits

Experts explain why heart failure should be a public concern

Experts explain why heart failure should be a public concern

New research suggests that those with a higher level of fitness could benefit from a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, even if they have a family history of heart disease. - ljubaphoto/IStock.com pic via AFPSAN FRANCISCO, April 10 - Regular exercise could reduce the risk of heart disease even in those who already have a high genetic risk, according to new USA research.

The said research paper will be published online on Circulation, a scientific journal, with Ingelsson as a senior author.

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Results-Grip strength, physical activity, and cardiorespiratory fitness showed inverse associations with incident cardiovascular events (coronary heart disease: hazard ratio [HR], 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77- 0.81; HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93-0.97; and HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.63-0.74, per SD change, respectively; atrial fibrillation: HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.73- 0.76; HR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.91-0.95; and HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.56-0.65, per SD change, respectively).

She added: "Prior to their breast cancer diagnosis, some women may already have undiagnosed coronary heart disease, increasing their risk of a heart attack and subsequent heart failure".

For the study, the researchers looked at data from roughly a half-million people in the UK Biobank database. The new study is one of the first to look at how exercise might help a person with a family risk of heart disease keep complications at bay. Other health information was also gathered, including measurements of physical activity, cardiovascular fitness and grip strength (an indicator of overall muscle strength).

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When they entered the study, none of the participants had any evidence of heart disease. At the start of the trial, the men and women allowed researchers to assess their genetic predispositions for heart disease. For when the physical activity of the participants was measured by an objective tool - a wrist-worn accelerometer - the association between physical activity and a decreased risk of heart disease became stronger.

Ingelsson explained that observational studies are created to establish trends.

The results were adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, region, socioeconomic status, diabetes, smoking, systolic blood pressure, body mass index and use of lipid medications. "And vice versa: Even if you have a low genetic risk, you should still get exercise".

"We regard the result of our study as very positive for the treatment of breast cancer", summarizes Brenner.

Among individuals deemed at high genetic risk for cardiovascular diseases, high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with a 49 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, and a 60 percent lower risk of atrial fibrillation compared to study participants with low cardiorespiratory fitness. However, for any individual, Dr. Ingelsson advised that "it would be best to discuss a physical activity plan with a physician".

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