Moderate Physical Activity Could Protect Against Heart Failure in Women

dr_iffat_rahman MedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation with:
Dr. Iffat Rahman Ph.D.
Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Box 210, 17177 Stockholm, Sweden


Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Rahman: Our study suggests that moderate to high level of physical activity could protect against heart failure in women.

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Dr. Rahman: The results suggested that moderate levels of physical activity is sufficient for reducing the risk of heart failure. As an example, walking or biking more than 20 minutes per day was the type of physical activity associated with the largest risk reduction in HF. It was associated with a considerable improvement in HF free survival, up to 1.5 years over 14 years of follow-up.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Rahman: Clinicians could recommend middle aged and elderly women to engage in moderate levels of daily physical activity in order to reduce their risk of future heart failure. Walking or biking more than 20 minutes every day are activities that are feasible for most women. Public awareness of the beneficial effect of physical activity could potentially contribute to reducing the HF burden in society.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Rahman: Future studies evaluating optimal levels of physical activity in relation to heart failure risk are warranted. We investigated the association between physical activity and heart failure in a population consisting of middle-aged and elderly white women, thus it is crucial that this association is studied in populations consisting of other ethnicities, younger age groups, or men.

Citation:

The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Heart Failure Risk in Women
Iffat Rahman, Andrea Bellavia, and Alicja Wolk

Circ Heart Fail. 2014;CIRCHEARTFAILURE.114.001467published online before print September 18 2014, doi:10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.114.001467