There is wide variability in the physical activity patterns of the patients in contemporary clinical cardiovascular practice. This review is designed to address the impact of exercise dose on key cardiovascular risk factors and on mortality. We begin by examining the body of literature that supports a dose-response relationship between exercise and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including plasma lipids, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. We next explore the relationship between exercise dose and mortality by reviewing the relevant epidemiological literature underlying current physical activity guideline recommendations. We then expand this discussion to critically examine recent data pertaining to the impact of exercise dose at the lowest and highest ends of the spectrum. Finally, we provide a framework for how the key concepts of exercise dose can be integrated into clinical practice.
Keywords: exercise; hypertension; lipids; mortality.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.