The Impact of Fitness on Cardiovascular Diseases

Physical fitness can be measured easily and exactly, and has been shown to have a negative correlation to coronary heart disease. However, there is also a negative correlation between increasing fitness and risk factors like hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Intervention by physical training has been shown to reduce these risk factors in studies at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. If these confounders are corrected for, physical inactivity doubles the risk of coronary disease. In highly trained Norwegian skiers, a risk reduction of 4.8 was found compared to the least fit group in the study. In the same study, the quar-tile with the highest fitness had a relative risk of cardiovascular death of 0.4 compared to the quar-tile with poorest fitness.5 Large studies from the US also show a double risk in persons with low exercise capacity compared to those with a high exercise capacity.6 Still it may be questioned whether the training or the high fitness per se is protective. This is addressed in a study by Hein et al.,7 where indirect O2 consumption was measured and physical activity monitored. The conclusion was that physical activity is protective irrespective of the fitness level.

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

Prevention is better than a cure. Learn how to cherish your heart by taking the necessary means to keep it pumping healthily and steadily through your life.

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