Staying Fit During Midlife Lowers Risk of Stroke in Later Years

   |  Updated: June 13, 2016 18:09 IST

Staying Fit During Midlife Lowers Risk of Stroke in Later Years
  • People should exercise during their midlife (45-50 years)
  • it reduces the probability of experiencing a heart attack after 65
  • AHA recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly
People who stay fit during their midlife (45-50 years) are less likely to suffer from a stroke after the age of 65, scientists including those of Indian origin have found.

"We all hear that exercise is good for you, but many people still don't do it. Our hope is that this objective data on preventing a fatal disease such as stroke, will help motivate people to get moving and get fit," said Ambarish Pandey from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in the US.

In a prospective observational study consisting of 19,815 adults ages 45 to 50, (79 per cent men, 90 per cent Caucasian) researchers measured participants' heart and lung exercise capacity - cardiorespiratory fitness - and categorised them as having either a high, middle or low level of fitness.
Researchers, including Minesh Patel and Sandeep Das at UT Southwestern Medical Centre, found that those with the highest level of fitness had a 37 per cent lower risk of stroke after age 65, compared to their counterparts with the lowest level of fitness.This inverse relationship between fitness and stroke risks existed even after researchers considered stroke risk factors: high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and atrial fibrillation.
"These findings support the unique and independent role of exercise in the prevention of stroke," said Jarett Berry, an associate professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern. Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability.The information on the effects of fitness on stroke risk, independent of other factors, is limited, researchers noted.The study reinforces the benefits of being physically fit throughout life.

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"Our research suggests that low fitness in midlife is an additional risk to target and help prevent stroke later in life," Pandey said. Researchers used data collected between 1999 and 2009,
that measured exercise tolerance with a standardised treadmill test when participants were age 45 to 50.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly, researchers said. As a rule of thumb, exercise thirty minutes a day, five
times a week, for better overall cardiovascular health, they said. The research was published in the journal Stroke

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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