According to new research presented at the ESC, moderate physical activity is associated with a greater than 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular death in over-65s.
The 12-year study was conducted with 2500 adults between the ages of 65 to 74 years and found that moderate physical activity reduced the risk of an acute cardiovascular event by more than 30%. The higher the levels of physical activity, the greater the reduction in risk.
While the role of physical activity in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) is fairly well-established, little is known about its effects on the risk levels for the elderly. This current study assessed the association between leisure time physical activity and CVD risk and mortality in 2456 men and women aged 65 to 74 years who were enrolled into the National FINRISK Study between 1997 and 2007.
Data was collected through the use of a self-administered questionnaire on physical activity and other health related behaviour, clinical measurements (blood pressure, weight and height), and laboratory measurements including serum cholesterol. Self-reported physical activity was classified as follows:
Low: reading, watching TV or working in the household without much physical activity.
She concluded: “Physical exercise may become more challenging with ageing. However, it is important for older people to still get enough safe physical activity to stay healthy after their transition to retirement.”