Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unfit, lean people are better protected against heart attacks than fit, obese people

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
Umea University
Summary:
A research team has shown that physical fitness in your teens can reduce the risk of heart attack later in life, while men who are fit and obese in their teens run a higher risk of having a heart attack than unfit, lean men.

In a study published in the European Heart Journal, an Umeå research team has shown that physical fitness in your teens can reduce the risk of heart attack later in life, while men who are fit and obese in their teens run a higher risk of having a heart attack than unfit, lean men.

In the study, Gabriel Högström, Anna Nordström and professor at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatrics, at Umeå University, Peter Nordström, have analyzed data from 743,498 Swedish men who received a medical examination at the age of 18 when they were conscripted into national service from 1969 to 1984. The men's fitness level was measured with a bicycle test in which the resistance was gradually increased until they were too exhausted to continue. The men were monitored for an average of 34 years until they suffered a heart attack or died or until 1 January 2011, whichever came first.

The study shows that being physically fit in your teenage years reduces the risk of a heart attack later in life. Fit but overweight or obese men also ran a significantly higher risk of suffering a heart attack than unfit, lean men.

"While being physically fit at the end of your teens can reduce the risk of heart attack, fitness alone does not appear to fully compensate for the risks with being overweight or obese. In other words, having a normal weight is more important than being in good physical shape, but it is even better to be both fit and have a normal weight," says Peter Nordström.

The study shows that with every 15% increase in physical fitness, the risk of suffering a heart attack 30 years later is reduced by around 18 percent after factoring in different variables such as socioeconomic background and Body Mass Index, BMI. The results also indicate that regular fitness training late in your teenage years is consistent with a 35% lower risk of a premature heart attack.

Researchers estimate that in the whole data group 1,222 out of 100,000 men suffered heart attacks. Among these, 43 percent had a normal weight or were lean in their teens and had an above-average fitness level. In this section of the group, only 803 out of 100,000 men suffered heart attacks.

"The heart attack risk was reduced with about 35% among lean men and those with a normal weight at the end of their teens. But the study only shows that there is a correlation between fitness and a reduced prevalence of heart attack; we were unable to show specifically that a higher level of physical fitness reduces the risk of heart attacks," says Peter Nordström.

He says that the connection between fitness and heart disease is complex and can be influenced by a large number of error sources. Some people can be genetically predisposed to having a high level of physical fitness and a low risk of heart disease.

"As far as we know, this is the first real major study that explores the relationship between physical fitness in teenagers and the risk of heart attack later in life. As cardiovascular disease is such as a big public health problem and fitness training is both readily-available and affordable, these results and these types of study are important for the planning of preventative public health programs," says Peter Nordström.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Umea University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Hogstrom, A. Nordstrom, P. Nordstrom. High aerobic fitness in late adolescence is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction later in life: a nationwide cohort study in men. European Heart Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/eht527

Cite This Page:

Umea University. "Unfit, lean people are better protected against heart attacks than fit, obese people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109103638.htm>.
Umea University. (2014, January 9). Unfit, lean people are better protected against heart attacks than fit, obese people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109103638.htm
Umea University. "Unfit, lean people are better protected against heart attacks than fit, obese people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109103638.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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