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Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2009 Apr;16(2):156-60. doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e32831f1b77.

Physical activity and mortality in men and women with diagnosed cardiovascular disease.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, Torrington Place, London, UK.



Existing information regarding the optimal types and amount of physical activity for secondary prevention is controversial. We examined the association between different types of physical activity (domestic, walking, sports) and mortality in participants with established cardiovascular disease (CVD).


Data were collected from the Scottish Health Surveys (1995, 1998, 2003) that were linked to a patient-based database of CVD hospital admissions and deaths. There were 837 men and women with clinically confirmed CVD at baseline, of whom 175 died over an average of 5.6+/-3.1 years of follow-up.


The lowest risks for all-cause mortality were seen in participants undertaking at least 20 min/week of sports activity (fully adjusted hazard ratio=0.32, 95% confidence interval=0.16-0.65) or walking (hazard ratio=0.74, 0.53-1.04). Similar associations were observed for CVD mortality. The physically active also showed lower levels of inflammatory risk markers and greater HDL cholesterol.


Men and women with existing CVD who participate in moderate-to-vigorous activity for at least 20 min/week showed the lowest risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. These findings support emerging data from controlled exercise training studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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