Another good reason to play sports. The practice of a sporting activity is at the top of the good resolutions of the French for the year 2021 and this new study should give them additional motivation. Indeed, physical activity is not only associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease but there would be no threshold for this association. The findings of this research were published this week in PLOS Medicine by Terence Dwyer of the University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues.
Scientists have shown that there is an inverse association between self-reported levels of physical activity and the onset of cardiovascular disease. However, there is uncertainty about the extent of this association, especially at higher levels of physical activity. For this new study, the researchers used data from 90,211 participants in the British Biobank with no prior cardiovascular disease. All agreed to wear an accelerometer to measure their physical activity over a 7-day period between 2013 and 2015.
“At least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week”
Participants in the lowest physical activity category smoked more, had higher body mass index and C-reactive protein. They also suffered from more hypertension. Overall, 3,617 cases of cardiovascular disease were diagnosed in participants during an average of 5.2 years of follow-up. Associate Professor Aiden Doherty of the Nuffield Population Health Department at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s lead authors:
“This is the largest study ever on device-measured physical activity and cardiovascular disease. It shows that physical activity is probably even more important for preventing cardiovascular disease than previously thought. Our results lend additional weight to the new WHO physical activity guidelines that recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults. “
In detail, the people in each increasing quartile ofphysical activity, for moderate-intensity activity, vigorous-intensity activity, and total physical activity, were less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Indeed, the authors report that those in the lower quartile and those in the second quartile of moderate-intensity exercise were 71% more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, those in the third quartile were 59% more at risk compared to 46. % for those in the highest quartile. These figures reinforce the idea that physical activity represents a means of prevent cardiovascular disease.