An interesting article about young women and their habits– according to a study done by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, young women with healthy habits are less likely to develop coronary heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors as they age,
They looked at six criteria in women aged 27-44 years of age
normal body mass index
physical activity of at least 2.5 hours weekly
television viewing of 7 hours or less weekly
moderate alcohol consumption
and a healthy diet —
These women had almost no heart disease and low rates of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol after 20 years’ follow-up.
Compared with women who met none of the criteria, those meeting all six had a 92% reduction in risk for coronary heart disease and a 66% reduction in CV risk factors. Of note, only about 5% of study participants met all six criteria.
– such as casual walking or light housework might confer substantial
Physical activity improves health outcomes and lowers disability risk.
Current guidelines recommend 150 minutes weekly of moderate-to-
vigorous–intensity activity, but whether light-intensity activity
lowers risk for disability is unclear. In this prospective study,
investigators determined whether time spent in light-intensity
activity (e.g., casual walking, pushing a grocery cart, light
housework was associated with incident disability (i.e., limitations
in instrumental or basic activities of daily living) or disability
progression in 1814 adults (age range, 49–83) with or at high risk
for knee osteoarthritis. Physical activity was measured using
During 2 years of follow-up, the incidence of new disability was 33%
to 49% lower among those in the three highest quartiles of daily light-
activity time (>229 minutes) than among those in the lowest quartile
(<229 minutes) after adjustment for various factors (including time
spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity). Additionally, in analyses
that included participants with mild-to-moderate disability at
baseline, those in the upper quartiles of light-activity time were at
lower risk for disability progression.
Dunlop DD et al. BMJ 2014 Apr 29. Badley E. BMJ 2014 Apr 29.
Two studies in the journal Heart suggest that health benefits may be
curtailed in people who exercise very frequently or very intensely.
In a Swedish study, researchers analyzed data from exercise
questionnaires and hospital records of nearly 45,000 men. Men who
exercised intensively more than 5 hours a week at the age of 30 were
more likely to develop atrial fibrillation (an abnormal heart rythm)
than men who exercised less than 1 hour a week. Their risk was even
higher if they subsequently quit exercising later in life.
In the second study, researchers followed more than 1000 patients with
coronary heart disease. Overall, patients who exercised strenuously 2–
4 days a week had the lowest risk for death and cardiovascular events.
But there was an increase in risk in groups that rarely exercised and
in those who exercised vigorously every day.
Editorialists speculate that intensive exercise may have a
proinflammatory effect that may be especially harmful in some people
with atherosclerotic disease.