Bad cardiopulmonary capacity may increase the risk of future heart attack even if you do not have lifestyle illness, according to a new study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The results were published in European Heart Journal.
Head researcher Bjarne Nes said: "We found a strong relationship between higher levels of fitness and lower risk of heart attack and angina at nine years after the measurements were taken."
"Even among people who seem to be healthy, 25% of the most appropriate individuals actually have only half the risk of 25%."
Between 2006 and 2008, researchers measured the cardiovascular capacity of 4527 men and women. None of the subjects had cardiovascular disease, cancer or high blood pressure, and most were thought to have a low risk of cardiovascular disease for the next ten years.
However, 147 of the participants had heart attacks or were diagnosed with angina by 2017. These diseases signal that the coronary arteries in the heart are narrowed or blocked completely.
Researchers analyze participants in groups based on their fitness level compared to others of the same age and gender. The risk proved to be stable due to the increase in the patient's physical condition. The correlation between fitness and cardiovascular risk was also made after adjustment for other factors that varied among the participants with most and less appropriate participants.
One of the biggest advantages of the study is that the test used the maximum oxygen intake to measure the physical condition of the participants. Previous studies linking the fitness level to the disease risk in healthy populations have largely been based on less accurate physiological calculations or information reported from physical activity.
Our body uses oxygen to drive metabolic processes that create energy for the muscles. Maximum oxygen absorption is simply the maximum amount of oxygen that the body is able to absorb during physical activity. The heart, blood vessel and muscle function are all important to oxygen intake.
"We know that patients with low oxygen intake are at increased risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease. Our study shows that poor physical fitness is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, even among healthy women and men who are relatively fit, "Nes said.
The study shows that even a slight increase in physical fitness can significantly improve health. For each 3.5-point increase in fitness, the risk of heart attack or angina declines by 15%.
Even if you never get in such a good shape that you can say that you have the best protection, the study shows that the risk of the participants was lower as appropriate.