New study finds lowest risk of death was in adults who exercised 150 to 600 minutes a week

Research Highlights:

  • An analysis of the physical activity and medical records of more than 100,000 people over 30 years found that people who engaged in the duration range currently recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services of moderate physical activities (150 at 300 minutes/week) or vigorous (75 to 150 minutes/week), respectively, had a 20-21% and 19% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

  • People who performed two to four times the recommended amount of physical activity (150 to 600 minutes/week) were observed to have additional reductions in all-cause mortality.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT/5 a.m. ET Monday, July 25, 2022

(NewMediaWire) – July 25, 2022 – DALLAS An analysis of more than 100,000 participants over a 30-year follow-up period found that adults who perform two to four times the currently recommended amount of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week have a reduction in mortality risk, according to a new study published today in the American Heart Association’s peer-reviewed journal Traffic. The reduction was 21-23% for people who did two to four times the recommended amount of vigorous physical activity and 26-31% for people who did two to four times the recommended amount of moderate physical activity each week .

It is well documented that regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. In 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommended that adults get at least 150-300 minutes/week of moderate physical activity or 75-150 minutes/week vigorous physical activity, or equivalent. combination of the two intensities. Current recommendations from the American Heart Association, which are based on the HHS physical activity guidelines, are at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes per week of aerobic exercise. vigorous, or a combination of both.

“The potential impact of physical activity on health is significant, but it is unclear whether engaging in high levels of prolonged, vigorous, or moderate-intensity physical activity above recommended levels brings additional benefits or harmful effects on cardiovascular health,” Dong Hoon Lee said. , Sc.D., MS, research associate in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “Our study relied on repeated measures of self-reported physical activity over decades to examine the association between long-term physical activity in middle and late adulthood and mortality.”

Researchers analyzed mortality data and medical records of more than 100,000 adults collected from two large prospective studies: the All-Female Nurses’ Health Study and the All-Male Healthcare Professionals Follow-Up Study. from 1988 to 2018. Participants whose data were examined were 63% female and more than 96% were white adults. They had an average age of 66 years and an average body mass index (BMI) of 26 kg/m2 over the 30-year follow-up period.

Participants self-reported their leisure-time physical activity by completing a validated questionnaire for the Nurses’ Health Study or the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study every two years. The publicly available questionnaires, which were updated and expanded every two years, included questions about health information, medically diagnosed illnesses, family medical history and personal habits such as cigarette smoking. and alcohol and frequency of exercise. Exercise data was reported as the average time spent per week on various physical activities over the past year. Moderate activity was defined as walking, low-intensity exercise, weight lifting, and calisthenics. Vigorous activities included jogging, running, swimming, cycling, and other aerobic exercise.

The analysis found that adults who performed twice the currently recommended range of moderate or vigorous physical activity each week had the lowest long-term mortality risk.

The analysis also revealed:

  • Participants who met vigorous physical activity guidelines had a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 15% lower risk of non-cardiovascular mortality, for an overall 19% lower risk of death from all causes.

  • Participants who met guidelines for moderate physical activity had a 22-25% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 19-20% lower risk of non-cardiovascular mortality, for an overall risk of death from all causes of 20-21 %.

  • Participants who performed two to four times the recommended amount of long-term vigorous physical activity (150-300 min/week) had a 27-33% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality and 19% lower risk of non-cardiovascular mortality, for a total of 21-23% lower risk of death from all causes.

  • Participants who performed two to four times the recommended amount of moderate physical activity (300 to 600 min/week) had a 28 to 38% lower risk of CVD mortality and 25 to 27% lower risk of non-cardiovascular mortality, for a total 26-31% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Additionally, no adverse effects on cardiovascular health were found in adults who reported engaging in more than four times the minimum recommended activity levels. Previous studies have found evidence that long-term, high-intensity endurance exercise, such as marathons, triathlons, and long-distance cycling races, may increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, including fibrosis. heart disease, coronary artery calcification, atrial fibrillation and cardiac death.

“This finding may reduce concerns about the potential harmful effects of engaging in high levels of physical activity observed in several previous studies,” Lee noted.

However, engaging in long-duration, high-intensity physical activity (300 minutes/week) or moderate-intensity physical activity (600 minutes/week) at levels more than four times the recommended weekly minimum did not lead to an additional reduction in the risk of death.

“Our study provides evidence to guide individuals in choosing the right amount and intensity of physical activity over their lifetime to maintain overall health,” Lee said. “Our findings support current national guidelines for physical activity and further suggest that maximum benefits can be achieved by performing moderate to high levels of moderate or vigorous activity or a combination.”

He also noted that people who perform less than 75 minutes of vigorous activity or less than 150 minutes of moderate activity per week may have greater mortality reduction benefits by regularly performing about 75 to 150 minutes of exercise. vigorous activity or 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise. per week, or an equivalent combination of the two, over the long term.

“We have long known that moderate and intense levels of physical exercise can reduce the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and mortality,” said Donna K. Arnett, MSPH, Ph.D., BSN, former president of the American Heart Association (2012-2013) and the Dean and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in Lexington, Kentucky. Arnett served as co-chair of the writing committee for the American Heart Association’s 2019 guidelines on primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, but she was not involved in the study. “We also found that doing more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or more than 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week can further reduce the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, so it is logical that those extra minutes of exercise can also reduce mortality.”

Co-authors are Leandro FM Rezende, Sc.D.; Hee-Kyung Joh, MD, Ph.D.; NaNa Keum, Sc.D. ; Gerson Ferrari, Ph.D.; Juan Pablo Rey-Lopez, Ph.D.; Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D.; Fred K. Tabung, Ph.D.; and Edward L. Giovannucci, MD, Sc.D. The authors’ disclosures are listed in the manuscript.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Studies published in the scientific journals of the American Heart Association are peer reviewed. The statements and conclusions in each manuscript are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the Association. The Association makes no representations or warranties as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funds primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, and other businesses) also donate and fund Association-specific programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing scholarly content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, device manufacturers, and health insurance providers as well as the Association’s aggregate financial information are available here.

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