Special Reports

Too Much Sitting May Increase Risk Of Heart Failure In Men


Older men who spend most of their time sitting have an increased risk of facing heart failure, according to a new study USA Today reported.

Researchers from Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, Calif., found that the risk of heart failure was more than double for men who sat for at least five hours a day outside of work and exercised minimally compared with men who sat for less than two hours a day and were physically active, USA Today reported.

For the study, researchers examined data for more than 82,000 men between the ages of 45 and 69. None of the men had heart failure at the start of the study.

"We looked at baseline information on a questionnaire about physical activity and sitting time outside of work," Deborah Rohm Young, a senior scientist at Kaiser Permanente, told HealthDay. She noted that the men were followed for up to a decade.

Researchers calculated their exercise levels in a way that tallied how much energy the body uses. The researchers also tracked how many hours a day the men were sedentary.

They found that men who sat for at least five hours a day were 34 percent more likely to experience heart failure than men who sat for less than two hours. They also found that men with low levels of physical activity were 52 percent more likely to develop heart failure than men with higher levels of physical activity, according to Young.

Heart failure, the inability of the heart muscle to effectively pump blood throughout the body, affects 5.7 million Americans - mostly older people, according to the American Heart Association.

"It affects a lot of people. Of those who have heart failure, about half will die within five years of being diagnosed," Young said. "But it is associated with a reduced quality of life."

Researchers urge people to sit less and be more physically active.

"It doesn't even require joining a gym," she said. "Walking is the best exercise for the majority of people. Brisk walking. Thirty minutes a day is wonderful," Young said.

The study was published in the January issue of Circulation: Heart Failure.

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