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Study shows that not exercising is worse for health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease

Study shows that not exercising is worse for health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease
October 26, 2018

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in the USA have revealed that not exercising impacts long term health more than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

Based in a study of 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio between 1991 and 2014, the research measured all-cause mortality relating to the benefits of exercise and fitness. Of those taking part, 13,637 died during the 23-year period.

Published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open, the study found that increased cardiorespiratory fitness was directly associated with reduced long-term mortality, with no limit on the positive effects of aerobic fitness. Extreme aerobic fitness was associated with the greatest benefit, particularly in older patients (70 and older) and in those with hypertension.

In subgroup analysis, extreme cardiorespiratory fitness - seen in elite athletes - was associated with the lowest risk-adjusted all-cause mortality compared with all other performance groups.

Commenting on the research, Dr Wael Jaber, Cleveland Clinic cardiologist and senior author of the study, explained "aerobic fitness is something that most patients can control. And we found in our study there is no limit to how much exercise is too much.

"Everyone should be encouraged to achieve and maintain high fitness levels."

The study showed that the risk associated with poor cardiorespiratory fitness was comparable to or even exceeded that of traditional clinical risk factors, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and smoking.

In its conclusion, the study found that cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with "no observed upper limit of benefit".

Dr Jaber concluded that the results were "extremely surprising", stating “we've never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this."

The results of the study were published on 19th October in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Click here for more information.

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