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      Physical Activity in Older Men: Longitudinal Associations with Inflammatory and Hemostatic Biomarkers, N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide, and Onset of Coronary Heart Disease and Mortality

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          To examine associations between habitual physical activity (PA) and changes in PA and onset of coronary heart disease (CHD) and the pathways linking PA to CHD.


          British Regional Heart Study population-based cohort; men completed questionnaires in 1996 and 1998 to 2000, attended rescreen in 1998 to 2000, and were followed up to June 2010.




          Of 4,252 men recruited from primary care centers (77% of those invited and eligible) who were rescreened in 1998 to 2000, 3,320 were ambulatory and free from CHD, stroke, and heart failure and participated in the current study.


          Usual PA (regular walking and cycling, recreational activity and sport). Outcome was first fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction.


          In 3,320 ambulatory men, 303 first and 184 fatal CHD events occurred during a median of 11 years of follow-up; 9% reported no usual PA, 23% occasional PA, and 68% light or more-intense PA. PA was inversely associated with novel risk markers C-reactive protein, D-dimer, von Willebrand Factor and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). Compared with no usual PA, hazard ratios (HRs) for CHD events, adjusted for age and region, were 0.52 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.34–0.79) for occasional PA, 0.47 (95% CI = 0.30–0.74) for light PA, 0.51 (95% CI = 0.32–0.82) for moderate PA, and 0.44 (95% CI = 0.29–0.65) for moderately vigorous or vigorous PA ( P for linear trend = .004). Adjustment for established and novel risk markers somewhat attenuated HRs and abolished linear trends. Compared with men who remained inactive, men who maintained at least light PA had an HR for CHD events of 0.73 (95% CI = 0.53–1.02) and men whose PA level increased had an HR of 0.86 (95% CI = 0.55–1.35).


          Even light PA was associated with significantly lower risk of CHD events in healthy older men, partly through inflammatory and hemostatic mechanisms and cardiac function (NT-proBNP).

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          Most cited references 26

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          Physical activity and reduced risk of cardiovascular events: potential mediating mechanisms.

          Higher levels of physical activity are associated with fewer cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. Although the precise mechanisms underlying this inverse association are unclear, differences in several cardiovascular risk factors may mediate this effect. In a prospective study of 27,055 apparently healthy women, we measured baseline levels of hemoglobin A1c, traditional lipids (total, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), novel lipids [lipoprotein(a) and apolipoprotein A1 and B-100], creatinine, homocysteine, and inflammatory/hemostatic biomarkers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, soluble intracellular adhesion molecule-1) and used women's self-reported physical activity, weight, height, hypertension, and diabetes. Mean follow-up was 10.9+/-1.6 years, and 979 incident CVD events occurred. The risk of CVD decreased linearly with higher levels of activity (P for linear trend or = 1500 kcal/wk of 27%, 32%, and 41%, respectively. Differences in known risk factors explained a large proportion (59.0%) of the observed inverse association. When sets of risk factors were examined, inflammatory/hemostatic biomarkers made the largest contribution to lower risk (32.6%), followed by blood pressure (27.1%). Novel lipids contributed less to CVD risk reduction compared with traditional lipids (15.5% and 19.1%, respectively). Smaller contributions were attributed to body mass index (10.1%) and hemoglobin A1c/diabetes (8.9%), whereas homocysteine and creatinine had negligible effects (< 1%). The inverse association between physical activity and CVD risk is mediated in substantial part by known risk factors, particularly inflammatory/hemostatic factors and blood pressure.
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            Changes in physical activity, mortality, and incidence of coronary heart disease in older men.

            We studied the relations between physical activity and changes in physical activity, all-cause mortality, and incidence of major coronary-heart-disease events in older men. In 1978-80 (Q1), 7735 men aged 40-59 were selected from general practices in 24 British towns, and enrolled in a prospective study of cardiovascular disease, which included physical activity data. In 1992 (Q92), 12-14 years later, 5934 of the men (91% of available survivors, mean age 63 years) gave further information on physical activity and were then followed up for a further 4 years. The main endpoints were all-cause mortality during 4 years of follow-up from Q92, and major fatal and non-fatal coronary-heart-disease events during 3 years of follow-up from Q92. Among 4311 men with no history of coronary heart disease, stroke, or "other heart trouble" by Q92 and who did not report "poor health", there were 219 deaths. In the inactive/occasionally active, light, moderate, and moderately vigorous/vigorous activity groups there were 101 (18.5/1000 person-years) 48 (11.4), 23 (7.3), and 47 (9.1) deaths, respectively (adjusted risk ratios 1.00, 0.61 [95% CI 0.48-0.86], 0.50 [0.31-0.79], 0.65 [0.45-0.94]). Men who were sedentary at Q1 and who began at least light activity by Q92 had significantly lower all-cause mortality than those who remained sedentary, even after adjustment for potential confounders (risk ratio=0.55 [0.36-0.84]). Physical activity improved both cardiovascular mortality (0.66 [0.35-1.23]) and non-cardiovascular mortality (0.48 [0.27-0.85]). The relation between physical activity at Q92, changes in physical activity, and mortality were similar for men with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Maintaining or taking up light or moderate physical activity reduces mortality and heart attacks in older men with and without diagnosed cardiovascular disease. Our results support public-health recommendations for older sedentary people to increase physical activity, and for active middle-aged people to continue their activity into old age.
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              Effects of muscular strength on cardiovascular risk factors and prognosis.

              Physical fitness is one of the strongest predictors of individual future health status. Together with cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), muscular strength has been increasingly recognized in the pathogenesis and prevention of chronic disease. We review the most recent literature on the effect of muscular strength in the development of cardiovascular disease, with special interest in elucidating its specific benefits beyond those from CRF and body composition. Muscular strength has shown an independent protective effect on all-cause and cancer mortality in healthy middle-aged men, as well as in men with hypertension and patients with heart failure. It has also been inversely associated with age-related weight and adiposity gains, risk of hypertension, and prevalence and incidence of the metabolic syndrome. In children and adolescents, higher levels of muscular fitness have been inversely associated with insulin resistance, clustered cardiometabolic risk, and inflammatory proteins. Generally, the influence of muscular fitness was weakened but remained protective after considering CRF. Also, interestingly, higher levels of muscular fitness seems to some extent counteract the adverse cardiovascular profile of overweight and obese individuals. As many of the investigations have been conducted with non-Hispanic white men, it is important to examine how race/ethnicity and gender may affect these relationships. To conclude, most important effects of resistance training are also summarized, to better understand how higher levels of muscular fitness may result in a better cardiovascular prognosis and survival.

                Author and article information

                J Am Geriatr Soc
                J Am Geriatr Soc
                Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
                BlackWell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                April 2014
                17 March 2014
                : 62
                : 4
                : 599-606
                [* ]Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London London, UK
                []Population Health Domain Physical Activity Research Group, University College London London, UK
                []Division of Population Health Sciences and Education, St George's, University of London London, UK
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to Barbara J. Jefferis, UCL Department of Primary Care & Population Health, University College London, Rowland Hill Street, London NW3 2PF, UK. E-mail: b.jefferis@
                © 2014, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Clinical Investigations

                Geriatric medicine

                prospective cohort, physical activity, chd, inflammation, nt-probnp, older adults


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