Purpose: We examined the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and stroke mortality in men.
Methods: This is a prospective cohort study. We followed 16,878 men, ages 40-87 yr, who had a complete medical evaluation including a maximal treadmill exercise test and self-reported health habits. There were 32 stroke deaths during an average of 10 yr of follow-up (167,961 man-yr).
Results: After adjustment for age and examination year, there was an inverse association between cardiorespiratory fitness and stroke mortality (P = 0.005 for trend). This association remained after further adjustment for cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and parental history of coronary heart disease (P = 0.02 for trend). High-fit men (most fit 40%) had 68% (95% CI: 0.12, 0.82) and moderate-fit men had 63% (95% CI: 0.17, 0.83) lower risk of stroke mortality when compared with low-fit men (least fit 20%), respectively.
Conclusions: Moderate and high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with lower risk of stroke mortality in men in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal study population.