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.
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.
In a growing list of studies on whether women are less prone to heart disease than men, fresh research of more than 160,000 people in 21 countries that was published in The Lancet has revealed that women are less likely than men to have cardiovascular disease (CVD) and die from it.
According to the study, there have been concerns that women with CVD are managed less aggressively than men which could lead to women having poorer prognoses. Some have attributed this to a treatment bias against women. “In our global study, we observed that while prevention strategies were used more often by women, invasive strategies such as percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass surgery was used more often for men,” said study first author Marjan Walli-Attaei from McMaster University in Canada.
“But, overall, outcomes such as death or a new heart attack or stroke in women were lower than in men. This suggests there may be factors other than a treatment bias against women that contribute to the treatment differences,” Walli-Attaei added. It didn’t matter if women had, or didn’t have, a previous heart attack or stroke. It also didn’t matter where they lived around the world and nor their economic status, the study said.
The information came from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study which followed the participants an average of 10 years. It is the first global study to document the risk factors, use of treatment, the incidence of heart attacks and strokes and mortality in people from the community, rather than just hospital patients.
The findings showed that women with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were more likely to use preventative medicines, control hypertension and to have quit smoking, compared to men. According to the researchers, the lower rates of invasive cardiac treatments of women with CVD could be partly explained by the fact that fewer women than men have the type of extensive atherosclerosis that requires medical interventions.
“Other studies have reported that sex differences in invasive cardiac procedures are not seen once we consider the extent and severity of coronary artery disease,” said study co-author Annika Rosengren. “This suggests that the lower rates of coronary interventions in women are appropriate as they have less extensive disease,” she said. There is, however, substantial concern about the differences in treatment between poorer and richer countries.
The differences in outcomes in both women and men in low-income countries, where approximately 40 per cent die within 30 days of a heart attack or stroke compared to the less than 10 per cent in high-income countries, is a matter of substantial concern, the researchers noted. Another research, published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that men and women largely suffer the same heart attack symptoms.
Investigating why heart disease generally develops later in women than men, another study published in journal Cardiovascular Research in 2017, demonstrated a link among female ovarian hormones, the circadian system which regulates the body’s day-night cycle, and the observation that women enjoy significant protection against heart disease when compared to men. (IANS)
People who walk, cycle and travel by train to work are at reduced risk of early death or illness compared with those who commute by car, according to a new study.
For the findings, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, the researchers conducted a study on more than 300,000 commuters in England and Wales. They used census data to track the same people for up to 25 years, between 1991-2016. The researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge in the UK, suggest increased walking and cycling post-lockdown may reduce deaths from heart disease and cancer.
“As large numbers of people begin to return to work as the COVID-19 lockdown eases, it is a good time for everyone to rethink their transport choices,” said study researcher Dr Richard Patterson from the University of Cambridge.
The research team found that compared with those who drove, those who cycled to work had a 20 per cent reduced rate of early death, 24 per cent reduced rate of death from cardiovascular disease during the study period, a 16 per cent reduced rate of death from cancer, and an 11 per cent reduced rate of a cancer diagnosis.
Walking to work was associated with a seven per cent reduced rate in cancer diagnosis, compared to driving. The team explain that associations between walking and other outcomes, such as rates of death from cancer and heart disease, were less certain.
One potential reason for this is people who walk to work are, on average, in less affluent occupations than people who drive to work, and more likely to have underlying health conditions which could not be fully accounted for.
The research also revealed that compared with those who drove to work, rail commuters had a 10 per cent reduced rate of early death, a 20 per cent reduced rate of death from cardiovascular disease, and a 12 per cent reduced rate of cancer diagnosis.
This is likely due to them walking or cycling to transit points, although rail commuters also tend to be more affluent and less likely to have other underlying conditions.”With severe and prolonged limits in public transport capacity likely, switching to private car use would be disastrous for our health and the environment,” Patterson said.”Encouraging more people to walk and cycle will help limit the longer-term consequences of the pandemic,” Patterson wrote. (IANS)
Contrary to the common belief that walking 10,000 steps a day prevents weight gain, the researchers have found that it doesn’t actually prevents weight gain rather it may decrease your sedentary time.
For the findings, published in the Journal of Obesity, the research team studied 120 freshmen in the US over their first six months of college as they participated in a step-counting experiment.
“Exercise alone is not always the most effective way to lose weight, if you track steps, it might have a benefit in increasing physical activity, but our study showed it won’t translate into maintaining weight or preventing weight gain,” said study lead author Bruce Bailey from Brigham Young University in the US.
Participants walked either 10,000, 12,500 or 15,000 steps a day, six days a week for 24 weeks, while researchers tracked their caloric intake and weight. The goal of the study was to evaluate if progressively exceeding the recommended step count of 10,000 steps per day would minimize weight and fat gain in college freshmen students.
In the end, it didn’t matter if the students walked more than even 15,000 steps; they still gained weight. Students in the study gained on average about 1.5 kg (roughly 3.5 lbs.) over the study period; a one to four kg average weight gain is commonly observed during the first academic year of college, according to previous studies.
Although weight was not affected by the increased steps, there was a positive impact on physical activity patterns, which “may have other emotional and health benefits,” the researchers said. One positive outcome of the study was that sedentary time was drastically reduced in both the 12,500- and 15,000-step groups.
According to the researchers, in the 15,000-step group, sedentary time decreased by as much as 77 minutes a day. “The biggest benefit of step recommendations is getting people out of a sedentary lifestyle. Even though it won’t prevent weight gain on its own, more steps is always better for you,” Bailey added. (IANS)