(crédito: AL BELLO)

Study shows link between physical activity and heart disease reduction

posted on 08/30/2022 06:00

(credit: AL BELLO)

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that develops when the heart is unable to properly pump blood to meet the body’s needs, and can result in fatigue and difficulty breathing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 23 million people worldwide suffer from the disease. Observational research carried out by scientists at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal, suggested that frequent physical activity — moderate and intense — may reduce the risk of the disease.

The study, which lasted about six years, evaluated more than 94,000 people, aged between 37 and 71, registered in Biobank, a UK database. Of the total, 57% were women and 96.6% were white. None of these people had a history of heart failure.

All were submitted to moderate and intense physical activities. Each participant wore a wrist accelerometer for seven consecutive days for 24 hours to measure exercise intensity and duration.

In the performance analysis, those who performed moderate physical activity, from 150 minutes to 300 minutes weekly, had a 63% lower risk of heart failure. For participants who exercised between 75 minutes and 150 minutes a week, vigorously, the chance of developing the disease dropped by 66%.

Hazard reductions were adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary factors. After enrollment, data were collected through hospital records.

“These findings indicate that every physical movement counts. A 10-minute walk is better than sitting. And, if possible, try to walk a little faster, which increases the intensity and potential benefits of exercise,” said Frederick K. Ho, postdoctoral fellow, professor of public health at the University of Glasgow and co-lead author of the study. He emphasized that going beyond the recommendations of health bodies can provide greater protection for the heart.

Risk factors

Experts point out that the practice of exercise benefits, especially, people with a body mass index equivalent to overweight or obesity, high blood pressure and high glucose or cholesterol levels – risk factors for heart failure. According to Carlos Celis, first co-senior author of the research, physical activities strengthen the heart muscle, helping the organ to fight diseases.

“Health care professionals can suggest further movements based on the patient’s current lifestyle and health status,” said Ho. “Generally, moderate physical activity is easier to incorporate into daily routines and is generally safer. Vigorous physical activity is sometimes the most time-efficient and may be more suitable for busy people,” he pointed out.

The researcher warned, in any case, for all people to exercise caution when starting new physical activity regimens. The goal is to prevent injury or acute adverse events such as heart attack in a sedentary person who suddenly starts high-impact exercise.

The experts clarify that the research is observational and cannot determine a cause-and-effect relationship between the amount and intensity of physical activity and the risk of disease. As the UK Biobank participants are predominantly white, further studies are needed to confirm whether the results apply to people of different ethnicities.

“Our findings add to the large body of other evidence suggesting that maintaining a modest amount of regular physical activity can help prevent the development of a number of chronic conditions, including heart failure,” emphasized Professor Naveed Sattar, second co-author. study senior.

Three questions for…

Carlos Celis, researcher at the University of Glasgow School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health



How important is this study to people’s health?

Our study is the largest to date using wrist accelerometers to measure activity in more than 94,000 adults. It also provides new evidence that going beyond current recommendations of moderate activity of 150 minutes a day may provide greater protection. We found that moderate physical activity has the potential to increase cardiovascular risk benefits, as appropriate for everyone.

In general terms, the practice of physical activity is important for human health. What are the main benefits for the heart?

There are many potential ways that regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing heart failure. For example, it helps prevent weight gain and related cardiometabolic conditions like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which are risk factors for heart failure. Regular exercise can also strengthen the heart muscle, which in turn can prevent heart failure from developing.

The survey covers a specific group of people. What is needed to determine the relationship between heart failure and impact activities?

This study includes a large number of subjects recruited from the British population. The age group ranged between 37 and 71 years, 57% were women. Therefore, the findings can be extrapolated to other populations with similar characteristics. Although our study provides evidence of a strong inverse association between heart failure and physical activity, further evidence from human trials or advanced statistical methods such as Mendelian randomization is needed.

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