Cardiovascular: Even moderate regular exercise significantly reduces the risk of death

Cardiovascular: Even moderate regular exercise significantly reduces the risk of death

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Even moderate physical activity reduces the risk of heart attack
A long-term study shows that even moderate exercise in seniors is sufficient to significantly reduce cardiovascular mortality. According to scientists, the protective effect of physical activities is “dose-dependent”.

Cardiovascular mortality reduced by more than 50 percent
Health experts always warn of a lack of exercise. Some experts believe that it is even more harmful to the heart than smoking, for example. A long-term study from Finland shows that exercise has a positive impact on health.

Finnish geriatrician Prof. Riitta Antikainen from the "University Oulu" reported at a press conference at the European Cardiology Congress (ESC) in Rome that moderate physical activity in people over 65 years of age increases cardiovascular mortality by more than 50 percent and the risks of one acute event reduced by more than 30 percent.

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
According to a message from the German Society for Cardiology - Heart and Circulatory Research (DGK) based in Düsseldorf, the evaluation of the National FINRISK study, which ran for twelve years and carried out almost 2,500 participants between the ages of 65 and 74, showed that a higher physical activity level gave better results delivered.

As the researcher explained, the importance of physical activity in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in people of working age is well known, but relatively little is known about the effects of regular physical activity in the elderly.

Sport can prolong life
In the past, studies have shown that even old age can prolong life. A few years ago, researchers in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that regular and moderate physical exertion can increase the chances of retirement without chronic and physical restrictions seven-fold.

It depends on the dose
Prof. Antikainen explained that it depends on the dose: “The protective effect of physical leisure activities is dose-dependent, in other words, the more you do, the better. Such activities also have a protective effect if there are other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, for example high cholesterol levels, ”said the expert.

“Physical activity can be a bigger challenge in old age. It is important to do enough safe physical activities to stay healthy after retirement. "

Experts here often advise that seniors should try many sports to find the right one for them.

Health-related behavior
The baseline data at baseline included responses to questionnaires about physical activity and other health-related behavior, as well as clinical data (blood pressure, weight, and height) and laboratory values, including cholesterol.

The study participants were observed until 2013, deaths and their causes were registered as systematically as cardiovascular-related events by evaluating the hospital discharge register.

Everyday physical activities also make sense
The physical activity levels were rated by the scientists as low (reading, watching TV or light housework), moderate (walking, cycling, gardening for at least four hours a week) or high (jogging, skiing, gymnastics, swimming, heavy gardening, and intensive sports training for at least three hours a week).

The press spokesman for the DGK, Prof. Dr. Eckart Fleck summarized: “The study confirms the importance of sufficient physical activity for cardiovascular health regardless of age. It doesn't always have to be jogging, everyday physical activities also make sense. Of course, the extent of the activities should be adapted to the individual's state of health. ”According to the expert, this adjustment can be controlled and monitored by registering the heart rate, for example. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Health: Clarifying the Risk-Protection Paradox (June 2022).


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