Monday, March 23, 2009

How Important Is Fitness?

How fit are you? It may make a difference in your risk of stroke.

A new study involving 26,000 adults who had none of the symptoms of heart disease followed the participants for 10 years. The follow-up showed that the people who had the greatest endurance on the treadmill test had the lowest risk of having a stroke or heart attack in that 10 year period.

In addition to the treadmill test to measure fitness, the study participants were given a physical and completed a survey about their daily habits. The participants were made up of 20,728 men and 5,909 women. During the 10 years of follow-up, the researchers recorded that there were 1,512 men and 159 women who had non-fatal heart attacks, strokes, or artery-clearing procedures. The researchers then controlled for lifestyle factors that contribute to heart disease (smoking, obesity, age).

The results of the data say that men with the highest fitness levels on the treadmill test were 31 percent less likely to have a non-fatal heart attack or stroke, or to require an artery-cleaning procedure, when compared to the less-fit category. Women also showed a similar benefit.

The researchers hope this study will be used to encourage the exercise test on people with no symptoms of heart disease. The current practice in doctors’ offices is that possible heart disease patients perform the treadmill test only when there is an existing symptom, such as chest pain, that puts the patient at high risk of heart disease. The researchers in this study suggest that using the exercise test on all possible patients could be used in addition to the traditional procedures, (like the monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol) to determine how a person’s risk of heart disease in the future.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Wealth is not just what you have, but what you are.

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