Even in low-risk individuals, better cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with a lower mortality risk from cardiovascular disease

Researchers have found that in individuals with a low risk of having a coronary heart disease event, cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with significantly better long-term survival.

Key Point: Even in patients at low risk for having a cardiovascular event, cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with a decrease in cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related mortality. Preventive lifestyle interventions geared towards cardiorespiratory fitness should be encouraged by physicians to improve CVD-free survival.

The benefits of physical activity and cardiovascular fitness are well known for individuals with a high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this new study, Carolyn E. Barlow, MS, and colleagues from The Cooper Institute in the United States, analyzed data from 11,190 healthy, white, nondiabetic men and women aged 30 to 50 years who were identified as having a low risk for a coronary heart disease event according to the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). The goal was to determine if cardiorespiratory fitness is a prognostic indicator of long-term risk of CVD-related mortality.

"Across a wide spectrum of baseline risk, from severe heart failure to ‘low-risk’ asymptomatic adults, lower levels of fitness predict higher rates of death.”
-D.S. Prasad, MD, PhD, consultant cardiologist at the Sudhir Heart Centre, Berhampur, India

Researchers categorized the patients (mean BMI of 24.8 kg/m2 and 5% FRS) into 5 groups according to...

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