Objective: To examine the association of different levels of occupational, commuting, and leisure-time physical activity with the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events.
Methods and results: The study comprised 47,840 Finnish participants aged 25-64 years without history of CHD and stroke at baseline. During a mean follow-up of 18.9 years, 4660 new CHD events were documented. The multivariable-adjusted (age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, education, alcohol consumption, smoking, history of diabetes, and other two types of physical activity) hazard ratios (HRs) of CHD events associated with low, moderate, and high occupational activity were 1.00, 0.87, and 0.90 (P(trend)=0.019) for men, and 1.00, 0.75, and 0.80 (P(trend)<0.001) for women, respectively. The multivariable-adjusted HRs of CHD events associated with low, moderate, and high leisure-time physical activity were 1.00, 0.95, and 0.84 (P(trend)=0.026) for men, and 1.00, 0.85, and 0.77 (P(trend)=0.003) for women, respectively. Active commuting had a significant inverse association with the risk of CHD events in women but not in men.
Conclusion: Moderate or high levels of occupational or leisure-time physical activity are associated with a reduced risk of CHD. Daily walking or cycling to and from work is associated with a decreased risk of CHD among women.