Published: 03-09-2014 09:00 | Updated: 03-09-2014 09:11

An hour of daily exercise may decrease heart failure risk

In a new study published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, researchers from Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University report that exercising each day can help keep the doctor away. According to the study results, more than an hour of moderate or half an hour of vigorous exercise per day may lower your risk of heart failure by 46 percent.

Heart failure is a common, disabling disease that accounts for about 2 percent of total healthcare costs in industrialized countries. Risk of death within five years of diagnosis is 30 percent to 50 percent. The Swedish research team studied 39,805 people 20-90 years old who didn’t have heart failure when the study began in 1997. Researchers assessed their total- and leisure time activity at the beginning of the study and followed them to see how this was related to their subsequent risk of developing heart failure. They found that the more active a person, the lower their risk for heart failure.

The study also show that the group with the highest leisure time activity (more than one hour of moderate or half an hour of vigorous physical activity) had a 46 percent lower risk of developing heart failure, and that physical activity was equally beneficial for men and women. Those who developed heart failure were older, male, had lower levels of education, a higher body mass index and waist-hip ratio, and a history of heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The work was supported by the Swedish Cancer Association, the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, the Swedish Research Council, the ALF-agreement between the Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institutet, Ericsson, and ICA, amongst others. One of the study authors is and advisory board member for the weight loss company Itrim.


Dose-response relations of total and leisure-time physical activity to risk of heart failure: a prospective cohort study
Kasper Andersen, Daniela Mariosa, Hans-Olov Adami, Claes Held, Erik Ingelsson, Ylva Trolle Lagerros, Olof Nyren, Weimin Ye, Rino Bellocco & Johan Sundström
Circulation: Heart Failure, online 2 September 2014