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Excessive Sitting May Increase Heart Failure In Older Men

A new study shows that older men who sit for long periods of time increase the risk of heart failure.

This new study was conducted by a group of researchers from Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. This research included over 82,000 men between the ages of 45 and 69. This study shows those who spend a lot of time sitting down are at a high risk for heart failure even if they workout.

Heart failure is often called congestive heart failure (CHF) or congestive cardiac failure (CCF), occurs when the heart is unable to provide sufficient pump action to maintain blood flow to meet the needs of the body.

Study author Deborah Rohm Young, a senior scientist at Kaiser Permanente said “Men with low levels of physical activity were 52 percent more likely to develop heart failure than men with higher levels of physical activity.” Men who spent at least five hours per day sitting were 34 percent more likely to develop heart failure than those who spent less than two hours a day sitting. The research is published in the January issue of Circulation: Heart Failure. 

Scientists used data from a large study called the California Men’s Health Study. None of the men had heart failure at the beginning of this study.

Young said “Those who had low physical activity  who sat a lot and got little exercise were more than twice as likely to have heart failure compared to those who were active and had not very much sitting time outside of work.”

According to the American Heart Association heart failure affects 5.7 million Americans. Approximately 20 percent of adults will be diagnosed with it during their lifetime.

Young says that even when she and her colleagues look at people who develop a heart disease or high blood pressure during the study, they found that being more active was still good. “It was more likely to protect against heart failure for those who had those conditions.”

Young also said for those people with heart issues who want to increase their exercise, it’s not too late, although, “obviously they have to get a clearance from their physicians before changing their physical activity.”

The take-home message is simple, Young said: Sit less, move more. Simply just walking can make a big difference.

About Steve Z

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