Saturday, December 8, 2007

Fitness predicts longevity better than fat

Old­er peo­ple with bet­ter cardio-respiratory fit­ness ap­pear to live long­er than un­fit ones—in­de­pen­dent­ly of their lev­els of body fat, ac­cord­ing to a new study that rec­om­mends a daily brisk walk for fit­ness.

Pre­vi­ous research found that obes­ity and in­ac­ti­vity each can pro­duce a high­er risk of death in mid­dle age. Wheth­er this is al­so true for old­er peo­ple has been un­cer­tain, said the auth­ors of the new stu­dy, pub­lished in the Dec. 5 is­sue of the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­socia­t­ion.

Xue­mei Sui of the Un­ivers­ity of South Car­o­li­na, Co­lum­bia, and col­leagues stud­ied a sam­ple of 2,603 wom­en and men aged 60 or old­er. They found that those who died were old­er, had low­er fit­ness lev­els, and had more car­di­o­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors than sur­vivors.

Fit sub­jects had low­er death rates than un­fit ones with­in al­most eve­ry lev­el of adi­pos­ity, or body fat, the re­search­ers found. In most in­stances, they re­ported, death rates for those with high­er fit­ness were less than half the rates for those who were un­fit.

The fat but fit “had a low­er risk of all-cause mor­tal­ity than did un­fit, normal-weight, or lean in­di­vid­u­als,” the team wrote. Past find­ings of links be­tween high fat and mor­tal­ity are probably ex­plained by the fact that lean­er in­di­vid­u­als tend to be fit­ter, though this is­n’t al­ways true, the au­thors wrote.

A daily brisk walk of 30 min­utes or more “will keep most in­di­vid­u­als out of the low-fit­ness cat­e­go­ry,” and probably en­hance chances of a long life, they wrote.

Source: http://www.world-science.net/othernews/071205_fitness.htm


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