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. 2012 Oct;44(10):1898-905.
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31825a68f3.

Vigorous-intensity Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Men

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Vigorous-intensity Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Risk of Major Chronic Disease in Men

Andrea K Chomistek et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Purpose: Although studies have shown health benefits for moderate-intensity physical activity, there is limited evidence to support beneficial effects for high amounts of vigorous activity among middle-age and older men. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between vigorous-intensity physical activity, compared with moderate-intensity activity, and risk of major chronic disease in men.

Methods: We prospectively examined the associations between vigorous- and moderate-intensity physical activity and risk of major chronic disease among 44,551 men age 40-75 yr in 1986. Leisure-time physical activity was assessed biennially by questionnaire. During 22 yr of follow-up, we documented 14,162 incident cases of major chronic disease, including 4769 cardiovascular events, 6449 cancer events, and 2944 deaths from other causes.

Results: The HR of major chronic disease comparing ≥ 21 to 0 MET.h.wk(-1) of exercise was 0.86 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.81-0.91) for vigorous-intensity activity and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.80-0.90) for moderate activity. For cardiovascular disease (CVD), the corresponding HRs were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.70-0.86) and 0.80 (95% CI, 0.72-0.88), respectively. When examined separately, running, tennis, and brisk walking were inversely associated with CVD risk. Furthermore, more vigorous activity was associated with lower disease risk; the HR comparing >70 to 0 MET.h.wk(-1) of vigorous-intensity exercise was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.68-0.92; P < 0.0001 for trend) for major chronic disease and 0.73 (95% CI, 0.56-0.96; P < 0.0001 for trend) for CVD.

Conclusions: Vigorous- and moderate-intensity physical activities were associated with lower risk of major chronic disease and CVD. Increasing amounts of vigorous activity remained inversely associated with disease risk, even among men in the highest categories of exercise.

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

None. The results of the present study do not constitute endorsement by ACSM.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of major chronic disease (A), cardiovascular disease (B), and cancer (C) associated with weekly MET-hours of vigorous-intensity physical activity
The hazard ratios are adjusted for age, moderate-intensity and low-intensity activities, parental history of MI at or before age 60 years, parental history of cancer at or before age 60 years, smoking, aspirin, vitamin E supplement use, intake of polyunsaturated fat, trans fat, EPA+DHA, and fiber, as well as alcohol intake and pre-existing disease including a diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of major chronic disease associated with weekly MET-hours of vigorous-intensity physical activity, stratified by participation in ≤ 1 hour of moderate activity per week (A) or > 1 hour of moderate activity per week (B)
P = 0.01 for interaction between vigorous activity and participation in moderate activity. The height of the bars represents the hazard ratios adjusted for age, moderate-intensity and low-intensity activities, parental history of MI at or before age 60 years, parental history of cancer at or before age 60 years, smoking, aspirin, vitamin E supplement use, intake of polyunsaturated fat, trans fat, EPA+DHA, and fiber, as well as alcohol intake and pre-existing disease including a diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia.

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