(HealthDay News) — Physical activity (PA), but not weight loss, is associated with improved survival in coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Trine Moholdt, PhD, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and colleagues studied 3307 individuals with CHD and examined the hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, calculated according to changes in body mass index and PA.

The researchers identified 1493 deaths during 30 years of follow-up. There was a correlation for weight loss with increased all-cause mortality (adjusted HR, 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1.5). There was no correlation for weight gain with increased mortality (adjusted HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.09). Increased risk in association with weight loss was limited to those who were normal weight at baseline (adjusted HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.72). Compared with participants who were inactive over time, the risk for all-cause mortality was lower for those who maintained low PA (adjusted HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.97) or high PA (adjusted HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.5 to 0.83). Similar associations were seen for CVD mortality.

“Increased attention should be placed on strategies to increase PA in secondary prevention of CHD,” the authors write.

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Moholdt T, Lavie CJ, and Nauman J. Sustained Physical Activity, Not Weight Loss, Associated With Improved Survival in Coronary Heart Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol 71(10) March 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.01.011

Bouchard C. Can Weight Control and Regular Physical Activity Increase Survival in CHD Patients? J Amer Coll Cardiol. 2018 March;71(10). DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.12.061