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Lancet. 2017 Dec 16;390(10113):2643-2654. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31634-3. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

The effect of physical activity on mortality and cardiovascular disease in 130 000 people from 17 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries: the PURE study.

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Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby and Division of Cardiology, Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address:
Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences & McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
Department of Community Health Sciences and Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
St John's Research Institute, St John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India.
Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, India.
School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India.
Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Medical Research & Biometrics Center, National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Fu Wai Hospital, Beijing, China.
Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Mengla County, Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China.
Government Medical College, Trivandrum, India.
Estudios Clinicos Latinoamerica ECLA, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.
Dubai Medical College, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Eternal Heart Care Centre & Research Institute, Mount Sinai New York Affiliate, Jaipur, India.
Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
FOSCAL, Medical School Universidad de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Department of Social Medicine, Medical University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland.
Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile.
Dante Pazzanese Institute of Cardiology, São Paulo, Brazil.
Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, Québec City, QC, Canada.

Erratum in



Physical activity has a protective effect against cardiovascular disease (CVD) in high-income countries, where physical activity is mainly recreational, but it is not known if this is also observed in lower-income countries, where physical activity is mainly non-recreational. We examined whether different amounts and types of physical activity are associated with lower mortality and CVD in countries at different economic levels.


In this prospective cohort study, we recruited participants from 17 countries (Canada, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Poland, Turkey, Malaysia, South Africa, China, Colombia, Iran, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe). Within each country, urban and rural areas in and around selected cities and towns were identified to reflect the geographical diversity. Within these communities, we invited individuals aged between 35 and 70 years who intended to live at their current address for at least another 4 years. Total physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPQA). Participants with pre-existing CVD were excluded from the analyses. Mortality and CVD were recorded during a mean of 6·9 years of follow-up. Primary clinical outcomes during follow-up were mortality plus major CVD (CVD mortality, incident myocardial infarction, stroke, or heart failure), either as a composite or separately. The effects of physical activity on mortality and CVD were adjusted for sociodemographic factors and other risk factors taking into account household, community, and country clustering.


Between Jan 1, 2003, and Dec 31, 2010, 168 916 participants were enrolled, of whom 141 945 completed the IPAQ. Analyses were limited to the 130 843 participants without pre-existing CVD. Compared with low physical activity (<600 metabolic equivalents [MET] × minutes per week or <150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity), moderate (600-3000 MET × minutes or 150-750 minutes per week) and high physical activity (>3000 MET × minutes or >750 minutes per week) were associated with graded reduction in mortality (hazard ratio 0·80, 95% CI 0·74-0·87 and 0·65, 0·60-0·71; p<0·0001 for trend), and major CVD (0·86, 0·78-0·93; p<0·001 for trend). Higher physical activity was associated with lower risk of CVD and mortality in high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries. The adjusted population attributable fraction for not meeting the physical activity guidelines was 8·0% for mortality and 4·6% for major CVD, and for not meeting high physical activity was 13·0% for mortality and 9·5% for major CVD. Both recreational and non-recreational physical activity were associated with benefits.


Higher recreational and non-recreational physical activity was associated with a lower risk of mortality and CVD events in individuals from low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries. Increasing physical activity is a simple, widely applicable, low cost global strategy that could reduce deaths and CVD in middle age.


Population Health Research Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Ontario SPOR Support Unit, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Servier, GSK, Novartis, King Pharma, and national and local organisations in participating countries that are listed at the end of the Article.

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