Friday January 18, 2019

Heart patients who walk faster hospitalised less

Each 1 km/hour increase in walking speed resulted in a 19 per cent reduction in the likelihood of being hospitalised

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Cyanotic heart disease. Wikimedia

Increasing the pace of walking may bring some added benefits as researchers have found that faster-walking patients with heart disease are hospitalised less.

“The faster the walking speed, the lower the risk of hospitalisation and the shorter the length of hospital stay,” said study author Carlotta Merlo, a researcher at the University of Ferrara in Italy.

Also Read: Obesity Linked To Heart Rhythm Disorder

“Since reduced walking speed is a marker of limited mobility, which has been linked to decreased physical activity, we assume that fast walkers in the study are also fast walkers in real life,” she added.

The study was conducted in 1,078 hypertensive patients, of whom 85 per cent also had coronary heart disease and 15 per cent also had valve disease.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is simply known as heartburn. Wikimedia Commons
Walking fast can reduce heart damage. Wikimedia Commons

A total of 359 patients were identified as slow walkers, 362 intermediate and 357 fast walkers. The researchers recorded the number of all-cause hospitalisations and length of stay of the participants over the next three years.

During the three year period, 182 of the slow walkers (51 per cent) had at least one hospitalisation, compared to 160 (44 per cent) of the intermediate walkers, and 110 (31 per cent) of the fast walkers, according to the study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The slow, intermediate and fast walking groups spent a total of 4,186, 2,240, and 990 days in hospital over the three years, respectively. The average length of hospital stay for each patient was 23, 14, and 9 days for the slow, intermediate and fast walkers, respectively.

Each 1 km/hour increase in walking speed resulted in a 19 per cent reduction in the likelihood of being hospitalised during the three-year period. Compared to the slow walkers, fast walkers had a 37 per cent lower likelihood of hospitalisation in three years, the findings showed.

“Walking is the most popular type of exercise in adults. It is free, does not require special training, and can be done almost anywhere. Even short, but regular, walks have substantial health benefits. Our study shows that the benefits are even greater when the pace of walking is increased,” Merlo said. IANS

Next Story

Weight Lifting Proven Better Than Walking And Cycling To Keep Heart Diseases At Bay

For the study, the researchers included 4,086 adults aged 21 to 44 or over 45

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Weight Lifting
Weightlifting better than walking and cycling for heart: Study. Pixabay

While it is well known that physical activities promote heart health, a new study suggests that weightlifting, rather than walking and cycling, can better help keep heart diseases at bay.

The study showed that engaging in both static activities such as strength training and dynamic activities like walking and cycling was associated with 30 to 70 per cent lower rates of cardiovascular disease risk factors.

But, the associations were strongest for strength training among youth than older adults.

“Both strength training and aerobic activity appeared to be heart healthy, even in small amounts, at the population level,” said Maia P. Smith, Assistant Professor at St. George’s University in Grenada.

“However, static activity appeared more beneficial than dynamic,” Smith added.

Lift Weights
Lift Weights. Pixabay

Further, the researchers suggested that clinicians should counsel patients, especially the elderly, to exercise regardless of activity types as patients who did both types of physical activity fared better than patients who simply increased the level of one type of activity.

“The important thing is to make sure they are engaging in physical activity,” Smith said.

The findings were presented at the ACC Latin America Conference 2018 in Peru.

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For the study, the researchers included 4,086 adults aged 21 to 44 or over 45.

The team analysed cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol, as a function of self-reported static and/or dynamic activity. (IANS)