"treadmill" by Jeff Blackler is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mortality Decreases with Increased Aerobic Fitness

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"treadmill" by Jeff Blackler is licensed under CC BY 2.0Wael A. Jaber, MD FACC, FESC
Professor of Medicine
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Fuad Jubran Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine
Heart and Vascular Institute 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We evaluated treadmill tests on over 122, 000 patients between 1991 and 2014. We aimed to evaluate impact of functional capacity (time on treadmill) on all cause mortality.

We found that there is a gradual and incremental reduction in mortality with increased exercise capacity/aerobic fitness in all age groups, sexes, and in patients with and without history of heart disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: Maintaining a high aerobic functional class is associated with greater risk reduction than absence of many known traditional risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, prior history of CAD.

The risk reduction appears to follow a dose response pattern with no upper limits of benefits; patients with highest functional class benefits most. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We need to test whether an improvement in functional class over time with training can move an individual patients from one mortality curve to a better one. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Maintaining a high functional aerobic class appears to be associated with low mortality in all age groups. Patients appear to derive gain in survival even with the smallest improvement in functional class. However, when it comes to aerobic functional class as measured by treadmill exercise testing, more appears to be better.

Of course, patients should always check with their healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.

No disclosures 


Mandsager K, Harb S, Cremer P, Phelan D, Nissen SE, Jaber W. Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Long-term Mortality Among Adults Undergoing Exercise Treadmill Testing. JAMA Network Open.2018;1(6):e183605. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.3605

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Last Updated on October 20, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD