Cardiorespiratory Fitness May Prevent Heart Problems- Study Suggests

Cardiorespiratory Fitness May Prevent Heart Problems- Study Suggests

It is a fact that people who exercise on a regular basis are healthier than others. Doctors often recommend exercising to people who are at risk of certain condition- specifically heart-related complications. A new study shows that people without any related symptoms should, too, exercise.

Why is this so? Sometimes, the healthy-looking, in shape people get heart issues all of a sudden. This is because their cardiorespiratory fitness is not up to the mark. The newly published research in the European Heart Journal suggests such people should also exercise to prevent a heart attack.

Why Are Heart Problems A Big Concern?

According to the statistics, heart-related issues are one of the top reasons for deaths worldwide. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both women and men. Around 610,000 people lose their lives every year due to a heart problem.

There are many types of heart conditions. The most commonly diagnosed one is coronary heart disease. The result of this disease is often a sudden heart attack.

Contrary to the popular belief, even healthy people may be at a risk of coronary heart disease. Even if a person is of a healthy weight, he/she might have heart problems in the future. This is because physical fitness does not guarantee a good cardiorespiratory health.

The new research concludes that everyone should exercise to prevent heart problems in the future. The study was led by Jon Magne Letnes, Ph.D., of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

Read the complete study here.

How Was The Study Conducted?

The team of researchers along with Letnes checked the cardiorespiratory fitness of 4,527 people. These individuals were participants of large HUNT3 study in 2006-08. All of them were considered healthy and in shape.

The individuals were required to wear a heart monitor and an oxygen mask while working out. This allowed the researchers to check their cardiorespiratory fitness or ability to provide enough oxygen during the exercise.

In addition, the participants’ body mass index, family history, dietary habits, smoking status, blood pressure, alcohol intake, and cholesterol levels were also analyzed. The study went on for nine years.

What Were The Results?

After a long period of nine years, 147 or 3.3% of the participants were affected by heart disease. Some developed it, died from it, or had coronary artery bypass graft.

Individuals with better cardiorespiratory fitness were seen to have a lower risk of cardiovascular diease throughout the study.

One of the researchers said, “We found a strong link between greater fitness and reduced risk of a coronary event during the 9 years of follow-up in a very healthy sample of adults.”

Furthermore, the risk of developing heart-related issues and heart attack decreased by 15% with every metabolic equivalent. This confirms that exercise is indeed important for all individuals including those who are otherwise considered ‘in shape’.

The lead author of the study also added that exercise should be suggested as a preventive measure. 30-45 minutes of exercise is enough to prevent heart disease in all individuals alongside a healthy lifestyle.

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