Cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with longevity in middle-aged men who were free from CVD, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Johan S.R. Clausen, MD, of the epidemiological research unit of the departments of occupational and environmental medicine at Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed data from 5,107 men (mean age, 49 years) from the Copenhagen Male Study who did not have CVD upon completion of a questionnaire at enrollment. The questionnaire included information on smoking and alcohol consumption and physical activity.
Men were categorized by age-adjusted cardiorespiratory fitness levels: below lower limit of normal (n = 258), low normal (n = 2,289), high normal (n = 2,304) and above upper limit of normal (n = 256).
The endpoints of interest were all-cause mortality and CV mortality.
All-cause mortality occurred in 92% of men during 46 years of follow-up, and CV mortality occurred in 42.1% of men.
Compared with men below the lower limit of normal cardiorespiratory fitness, a longer mean life expectancy was seen in those with low normal (2.1 years; 95% CI, 0.7-3.4), high normal (2.9 years; 95% CI, 1.5-4.2) and above upper limit of normal (4.9 years; 95% CI, 3.1-6.7) cardiorespiratory fitness.
A 45-day increase in longevity occurred with each unit increase in maximal oxygen consumption (95% CI, 30-61).
There were similar estimates in CV mortality.
Results were predominantly unchanged when men who died within 10 years of follow-up were excluded.
“The findings of the study show that the benefits of higher midlife [cardiorespiratory health] extend well into the later part of life,” Clausen and colleagues wrote. “Fitness-enhancing physical activity should be recommended by health care professionals to improve public health and promote healthy aging.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.