Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Walking and sports linked with heart health benefits in Japan, too

27.10.2005


First study of its kind extends linkage beyond North America and Europe



Even in an Asian nation where people generally have higher levels of physical activity on the job than is typical in North America or Europe, those who walk more or engage in regular sports activity tend to have lower levels of ischemic stroke and coronary heart disease, according to a new study in the Nov. 1, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

"The strength of the present study is a statistical power sufficient to detect the effects of physical activity on mortality from cardiovascular disease. We found a significant inverse association between time spent walking and the risk of ischemic stroke in addition to an inverse relationship between sports participation and risk of coronary heart disease in Asian countries, where job-related physical activity is generally higher than in Western countries," wrote the authors, including Hiroyuki Noda, M.D. and Hiroyasu Iso, M.D., from the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki and the Graduate School of Medicine at Osaka University in Osaka, Japan.


The researchers used data collected as part of a large population study of cancer risk in Japan. Between 1988 and 1990, 31,023 men and 42,242 women aged 40 to 79 years in 45 communities across Japan were given a questionnaire about their lifestyles and medical histories. The participants had no history of stroke, coronary heart disease or cancer. Through 1999, almost 2,000 participants died of cardiovascular disease. For this analysis, the researchers separated the participants into four categories according to the amount of daily walking or weekly sports activity they reported.

Consistent with results of studies done in North America and Europe, those who walked a least an hour a day or engaged in sports at least five hours per week had age-adjusted death rates from cardiovascular disease that were 20 to 60 percent lower than those in the second-lowest category of reported physical activity. Specifically, physical activity was associated with reduced risk of ischemic stroke (stroke caused by a blood clot or other blood flow blockage), coronary heart disease and total cardiovascular disease. There was no statistically significant relationship between physical activity and the risk of a stroke caused by bleeding (either intraparenchymal hemorrhage or subarachnid hemorrhage).

"Limitations of the present study included the fact that we did not have systematic information on pre-clinical disorders that prevented the participants from walking or participating in sports. This might have lead to a bias of cause-effect reversal, even though most of the subjects were apparently healthy," the authors wrote.

In order to try to avoid such bias, the researchers used the group with the second-lowest activity level as the reference group, rather than compare those with high levels of physical activity to those with the lowest levels. Thus they hoped to prevent a possibly misleading comparison with people who didn’t exercise because they were already ill. The researchers also analyzed the data after excluding anyone who died within two years of the beginning of the study, in order to allow a reasonable amount of lead time for physical activity to potentially have an effect on the health of study participants.

Interestingly, the analysis suggested that walking and sports may have different effects.

"Our data suggest a potential differential effect of walking versus sports participation on ischemic stroke and coronary heart disease risk. We found that participation in sports was associated with a reduced mortality due to coronary heart disease, but this association did not exist with walking time. Walking time, however, was associated with a reduced risk for mortality from ischemic stroke, but sports participation was not," they wrote.

By demonstrating an association between walking or sports and reduced cardiovascular disease deaths in this Asian population, similar to the results of studies in Western nations, despite differences in average levels of job-related physical activity, the researchers conclude that "the present study provides epidemiological evidence that engaging in physical activity through walking and sports participation might reduce risk of mortality from ischemic stroke and coronary heart disease among Japanese men and women."

Russell V. Luepker, M.D., F.A.C.C., at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who was not connected with this study, noted the strengths of the study design and the valuable health message in the results.

"Important strengths of this study include the large number of participants, the inclusion of both leisure and work activity and the extended follow-up period. The use of prevalent cases, short-term mortality and the use of the second lowest exercise category as referent minimizes the effects of those who do not exercise because they are already ill. The graded reduction of coronary heart disease and stroke mortality associated with increasing levels of walking and sports sends a strong message supporting regular physical activity recommendations. The adjustment for other cardiovascular risk factors strengthens the relationship’s validity," Dr. Luepker said.

Amy Murphy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Decoding the structure of the huntingtin protein

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression

22.02.2018 | Information Technology

Minimising risks of transplants

22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>