Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have found that a high level of physical fitness can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease in men with high blood pressure. Research published European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The study included 2280 men aged 42 to 61 years. Baseline blood pressure and fitness measurements were taken between 1984 and 1989. Cardiorespiratory endurance was assessed as maximum oxygen consumption while riding a stationary bike.
The median age at baseline was 53 years. Participants were followed up to 2018. During the 29-year follow-up, 644 deaths from cardiovascular diseases were recorded.
Men with high blood pressure and low physical fitness were more than twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease as men with normal blood pressure and good physical fitness.
The CV risk of men with high blood pressure and high physical fitness remained but was lower: the risk was 55% higher than men with normal blood pressure and good physical fitness.
The authors emphasized that good physical fitness does not eliminate, but significantly reduces, the increased risk of cardiovascular death in men with high blood pressure. This means that blood pressure control remains the main goal of men with hypertension, but they must also strive to improve their physical fitness.
The risk of death from cardiovascular disease was analyzed after adjusting for age, body mass index, cholesterol levels, smoking, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, alcohol consumption, and socioeconomic status.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recommends that adults of all ages aim for 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week.
Barbara Dickson is a seasoned writer for “Social Bites”. She keeps readers informed on the latest news and trends, providing in-depth coverage and analysis on a variety of topics.