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Walking faster could make you live longer

Gorkha Post

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Walking faster could make you live longer, a study led by the University of Sydney suggests. Walking at an average pace was found to be associated with a 20 percent risk reduction for all-cause mortality compared with walking at a slow pace, while walking at a brisk or fast pace was associated with a risk reduction of 24 percent.

A similar result was found for risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, with a reduction of 24 percent walking at an average pace and 21 percent walking at a brisk or fast pace, compared to walking at a slow pace.

“A fast pace is generally five to seven kilometers per hour, but it really depends on a walker’s fitness levels; an alternative indicator is to walk at a pace that makes you slightly out of breath or sweaty when sustained,” lead author Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis explained in the findings published in a special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The researchers sought to determine the associations between walking pace with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.

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The protective effects of walking pace were also found to be more pronounced in older age groups. Average pace walkers aged 60 years or over experienced a 46 percent reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular causes, and fast pace walkers a 53 percent reduction.

“Walking pace is associated with all-cause mortality risk, but its specific role – independent from the total physical activity a person undertakes – has received little attention until now,” Professor Stamatakis said.

“While sex and body mass index did not appear to influence outcomes, walking at an average or fast pace was associated with a significantly reduced risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. There was no evidence to suggest pace had a significant influence on cancer mortality however.”

In light of the findings, the research team is calling for walking pace to be emphasised in public health messages.
“Separating the effect of one specific aspect of physical activity and understanding its potentially causal association with risk of premature death is complex,” Professor Stamatakis said.

“Assuming our results reflect cause and effect, these analyses suggest that increasing walking pace may be a straightforward way for people to improve heart health and risk for premature mortality – providing a simple message for public health campaigns to promote.

With Agency Inputs

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Type 2 diabetics can reduce cardiovascular disease risk

Raghu Kshitiz

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With proper treatment and not smoking, individuals with type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study in Sweden.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes have 10 times the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, and five times the risk for premature death compared with the control group.

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at University of Gothenburg in Sweden said that the increased risks could be theoretically eliminated.

“The study shows that patients with type 2 diabetes with all risk factors within therapeutic target range had an extremely low risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke. This is definitely good news,” author Aidin Rawshani, a doctoral student at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, said in a press release.

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For the study, researchers analyzed data on 271,174 patients with type 2 diabetes registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register from 1998-2014 and matched with 1.35 million controls on the basis of age, sex and county. In a median followup of 5.7 years, there were 175,345 deaths.

Risk factors that can be controlled by medication, and cigarette abstinence, are blood pressure, long-term blood glucose, lipid status, renal function and smoking, according to the researchers.

Smoking was the most important risk factor for premature death and an elevated blood glucose level was the most dangerous factor for heart attack and stroke.

“By optimizing these five risk factors, all of which can be influenced, you can come a long way,” Rawshani said adding, “We have shown that the risks can be greatly reduced, and in some cases may even be eliminated.”

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In some cases, patients with type 2 diabetes have no more than a 10 percent elevated risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke compared with the general population. The risk for heart failure is 45 percent higher among those with type 2 diabetes in those instances.

In addition, the risk of complications, especially heart failure, is greatest among those under 55 years.

“This makes it extra important to check and treat risk factors if you are younger with type 2 diabetes.” Rawshani added.

With Agency Inputs

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