How does physical activity prevent heart failure?

According to the American Heart Association, heart failure affects more than 6 million adults in the United States, and more than 86,000 Americans died of heart failure in 2019. The association recommends adults participate for at least 150 minutes each. week of moderate intensity or 75 minutes per week of intense aerobic physical activity.

Physical activity helps prevent weight gain and conditions related to heart metabolism, such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart failure. Regular exercise can also strengthen the heart muscle, which, in turn, can prevent heart failure from developing.


Investigators analyzed the health records of 94,739 adults aged 37-73 at the UK Biobank – a large UK research database that has registered and collected the health information of 500,000 adults receive care through the National Health Service.

The data for this study were collected between 2013-2015. During that time period, a small group of 94,739 participants were randomly invited to enroll in the study through the email address they provided to the UK Biobank.

Participants had an average age of 56 years at admission; 57% were female and 96.6% were white adults. At the time each participant was invited, enrolled, and analyzed, they had not yet been diagnosed with heart failure or had a heart attack.

Each participant wore an accelerometer on the wrist for seven consecutive days, 24 hours a day, to measure the intensity and duration of physical activity. After admission, data was collected through linked hospital and death records.

Can exercise reduce heart failure?

During an average follow-up of 6.1 years after physical activity measurements were taken, the analysis found that adults who recorded 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week had an increased risk of heart failure. 63% lower.

People who performed 75-150 minutes of vigorous physical activity in a week were estimated to have a 66% lower risk of heart failure than participants who did little or no moderate or vigorous physical activity.

The estimated risk reduction was adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary factors. According to Ho, the results of the study suggest that exceeding current AHA recommendations for moderate activity may provide better protection against heart failure.

People with risk factors for heart failure, including a BMI that meets the criteria for being overweight or obese, high blood pressure, and elevated glucose or cholesterol, may particularly benefit from increasing their physical activity. surname.

In general, moderate physical activity is easier to incorporate into the daily routine and is generally safer. Vigorous physical activity is sometimes the most time-saving and may be more suitable for busy people.

However, everyone should be cautious when starting a new physical activity regimen to prevent injury or acute side effects (such as a heart attack in a previously sedentary person). start a vigorous exercise program).

Source: Eurekalert

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