CBS news reports on heart failure in American men.
Researchers are emphasizing moderate physical activity such as running, jogging and walking now more than ever.
What can this physical activity do for men?
Researchers are saying this will certainly help decrease a man's threat of developing heart failure, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure. They say the best part is that it only takes about 20 minutes a day to reap the best benefits.
Dr. Steven J. Keteyian, Director of Preventive Cardiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit commented on the study. He said, “Whether it's for diabetes management, hypertension, preventing heart disease, certain cancers, this is another indication for exercise at a moderate level.”
Heart attacks occur when the heart is no longer able to pump as much blood as the body needs to help other organs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that around 5.1 million people in the United States suffer from heart failure.
How was the study conducted?
Researchers followed over 33,000 men from 1998 until 2012 - or their first event of heart failure; to decipher if physical activity was associated with heart failure risk. The results proved that both low and very high levels of exercise could increase the threat of heart failure.
Dr. Ketayian said, “There was a slight uptick in risk for those people that were highly active, heavy exercisers and did an awful lot of activity throughout the day. I think the caution would be is if you engage in that level of exertion, make sure your doctor is aware.”
The researchers also asked the study’s participants, who were around the age of 60 years old, to tell about their exercise habits both in the prior year and retrospectively to when they were 30 years old. After scrutinizing the information, the experts found that men who were physically active at age 30, but not at the time of the study, did not have a lowered risk of heart failure. Basically that means that someone who used to exercise but let it slide eventually lost the benefit.
The study’s author, Andrea, said, “Because participants in the study cohort had also provided information about their physical activity at age 30, as well as at the time of enrollment around age 60, we were able to examine the long-term impacts of physical activity on heart failure. We found that recent activity may be more important for heart failure protection than past physical activity levels.”
What exercise should you do?
Specific types of moderate physical activity, such as walking and bicycling for 20 minutes every day, were linked with the largest decrease in heart failure risk according to the authors of the study.