Both Low and High Physical Activity Linked to Heart Failure in Men
Largest risk reduction for heart failure seen for walking/cycling for at least 20 minutes per day.
Iffat Rahman, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined whether total and different types of physical activity were associated with heart failure risk. A cohort of 33,012 men (average age at baseline, 60 ± 9 years) was followed from 1998 through 2012.
The researchers identified a total of 3,609 first events of heart failure during a mean follow-up of 13 years. Within the cohort there was a U-shaped association between total physical activity and heart failure risk, with increased risk for both extremely high (57 metabolic equivalent [MET] hours/day) and low (38 MET hours/day) levels of total physical activity.
The risk of heart failure was 21% lower for walking/bicycling at least 20 minutes/day, which corresponded to the median age at heart failure being eight months older for those who walked or biked daily. With respect to long-term walking/bicycling behavior, there was a trend toward more recent active behavior being more related to protection from heart failure compared with past behavior.
"Public awareness of specific types of physical activity as well as sufficient amount and duration of physical activity required for heart failure protection could potentially reduce the heart failure burden in society," the authors write.