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Mid-Life Fitness for Longevity

Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas reveal that people who are physically fit in middle age are less likely to develop early chronic disease and may live a bit longer than those who are not fit.

The study, which was led by Dr. Jarett Berry, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the university, examined the data on nearly 19,000 people with a median age of 49 who were enrolled in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, which followed their health since 1970. The researchers then looked up data from the Medicare claims information when participants were 65. The participants’ fitness levels were classified based on their performance on a treadmill.

The investigators found that the most fit participants at midlife were less likely to develop chronic diseases like colon or lung cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, type 2 diabetes and heart disease compared to the least fit at the age of 70 and up. Fitter patients were also more likely to live longer, spending more of their years without chronic disease.

During the study, about 2,400 participants died, and analysis of their data showed that the fitter participants suffered from fewer chronic diseases during their last five years of their lives.

Dr. Berry believes that people who are physically unfit at midlife have good reason to start an moderate-intensity exercise program which can raise their fitness levels and decrease their risk for chronic disease. Health experts currently recommend that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity in a week.

 

Source:

Goodwin, J. Midlife Fitness May Mean Healthier Old Age, Study Finds. MSN.

Posted in: Exercise, Fitness, Longevity, Midlife Fitness, News Briefs

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