Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Midlife fitness staves off chronic disease at end of life

Date:
August 27, 2012
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Being physically fit during your 30s, 40s, and 50s not only helps extend lifespan, but it also increases the chances of aging healthily, free from chronic illness, investigators have found.

Being physically fit during your 30s, 40s, and 50s not only helps extend lifespan, but it also increases the chances of aging healthily, free from chronic illness, investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center and The Cooper Institute have found.

Related Articles


For decades, research has shown that higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels lessen the risk of death, but it previously had been unknown just how much fitness might affect the burden of chronic disease in the most senior years -- a concept known as morbidity compression.

"We've determined that being fit is not just delaying the inevitable, but it is actually lowering the onset of chronic disease in the final years of life," said Dr. Jarett Berry, assistant professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study available online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined the patient data of 18,670 participants in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, research that contains more than 250,000 medical records maintained over a 40-year span. These data were linked with the patients' Medicare claims filed later in life from ages 70 to 85. Analyses during the latest study showed that when patients increased fitness levels by 20 percent in their midlife years, they decreased their chances of developing chronic diseases -- congestive heart failure, Alzheimer's disease, and colon cancer -- decades later by 20 percent.

"What sets this study apart is that it focuses on the relationship between midlife fitness and quality of life in later years. Fitter individuals aged well with fewer chronic illnesses to impact their quality of life," said Dr. Benjamin Willis of The Cooper Institute, first author on the study.

This positive effect continued until the end of life, with more-fit individuals living their final five years of life with fewer chronic diseases. The effects were the same in both men and women.

These data suggest that aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, or running translates not only into more years of life but also into higher quality years, compressing the burden of chronic illness into a shorter amount of time at the end of life, Dr. Berry said.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), adults should get at least 2 hours of moderate to intense aerobic activity each week to ensure major heart and overall health benefits.

UT Southwestern has a partnership with The Cooper Institute, the preventive medicine research and educational nonprofit located at the Cooper Aerobics Center, to develop a joint scientific medical research program aimed at improving health and preventing a wide range of chronic diseases. One of the world's most extensive databases, the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study includes detailed information from clinic visits that has been collected since Dr. Kenneth Cooper founded the institute and clinic in 1970.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study include Dr. David Leonard, assistant professor of clinical sciences, and Ang Gao, a biostatistical consultant in internal medicine.

The study was funded with support from the NHLBI and the American Heart Association.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Benjamin L. Willis, Ang Gao, David Leonard, Laura F. DeFina, Jarett D. Berry. Midlife Fitness and the Development of Chronic Conditions in Later Life. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3400

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Midlife fitness staves off chronic disease at end of life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827162009.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2012, August 27). Midlife fitness staves off chronic disease at end of life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827162009.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Midlife fitness staves off chronic disease at end of life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827162009.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins