The Health ABC Study: Simple Exercise Test Predicts Heart Failure Interview with:

Vasiliki Georgiopoulou MD MPH PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. Vasiliki Georgiopoulou

Vasiliki Georgiopoulou MD MPH PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)
Emory University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Although existing evidence suggests that more exercise capacity is associated with lower risk of CV disease and death, we don’t know whether more exercise capacity would lead to lower risk for heart failure also. This would be especially important for older adults, who are the group with the highest risk to develop heart failure. We used the data of a cohort study to test this association.

The exercise capacity was evaluated by a walking test that is easy to perform – the long-distance corridor walk test. We observed that older adults who were able to complete the test had the lowest risk to develop heart failure and the lowest mortality rates, when compared with those who were not able to complete the test and those who could not do the test for medical reasons. We also observed that changes in exercise capacity 4 years later did not predict subsequent heart failure or mortality – perhaps because less fit older patients had already developed heart failure or had died. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The take-home message from this study is that the better the ability to perform a simple exercise test, the lower the risk to develop heart failure or die.

Therefore, maintaining good fitness is critical to decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and death, irrespective of age. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This study provides data on the association of exercise capacity and risk for heart failure in well- functioning older adults. However, we may need to confirm these findings in a broader population of older adults with different characteristics. In addition, a study to evaluate the effect of an intervention to improve the exercise capacity of older adults on their risk for heart failure of mortality would provide more definitive data on how to decrease the risk for heart failure or death. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Sedentary lifestyle adversely affects people’s health and we need to reverse this trend. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Exercise Capacity, Heart Failure Risk, and Mortality in Older Adults: The Health ABC Study
Georgiopoulou, Vasiliki V. et al.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,
Published online:November 14, 2016

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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