4 | Special Topic Supplement: Heart Failure
eople who regularly achieved twice the
minimum federally recommended levels of
physical activity had 20 percent lower risk
of developing heart failure than those who
met the minimum. People who regularly got
four times the minimum physical activity
recommendations had 35 percent lower risk, according
to research published in the American Heart Association’s
“Walking 30 minutes a day as recommended in the
U.S. physical activity guidelines, may not be good enough
— significantly more physical activity may be necessary to
reduce the risk of heart failure” said Jarett D. Berry, M.D.,
senior author of the study and an associate professor of
internal medicine and clinical sciences at the University of
Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
The researchers found that the current recommendation
— designed for coronary heart disease risk — of at least
150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, was
associated with only a modest reduction in heart failure risk.
They suggest that higher levels, up to twice the minimum,
are needed to reduce the risk of heart failure.
They also found higher levels of physical activity were
associated with a lower risk of heart failure. This relationship
was consistent across all age, sex, race, and geographic
location based subgroups studied.
The role of activity in coronary heart disease — the
narrowing of the arteries that causes heart attacks — has
been comprehensively studied. However, this study focused
exclusively on the relationship between the specific “dose”
of regular physical activity and the risk of heart failure.
The researchers pooled data from 12 studies that
included 370,460 individuals with varying levels of physical
activity at baseline and 20,203 heart failure events over 13
years. Physical activity was self-reported using standard
questionnaires in most studies.
Current U.S. and American Heart Association physical
activity guidelines for adults recommends at least 150
minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity,
like brisk walking; at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity;
or an equal combination of both. However, both the federal
guidelines and the American Heart Association suggest that
more activity is even better.
“Future physical activity guidelines should take these
findings into consideration, and potentially provide stronger
recommendations regarding the value of higher amounts
of physical activity for the prevention of heart failure,” said
Ambarish Pandey, M.D., lead author of the study and
a cardiology fellow at University of Texas Southwestern
Medical School in Dallas, Texas.
“If you look at the general population,” Berry said,
“we’ve had tremendous success in reducing coronary heart
disease over the last 30 years. But heart failure rates have
not declined enough. The findings from the present study
suggest that higher levels of physical activity may help
combat this growing burden of heart failure.”
Source: American Heart Association News
AND HEART FAILURE