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Category: General Health
Being physically fit reduces the risk of heart disease and even all causes of death, according to study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
While doctors have long recommended getting into better shape, actually measuring cardiorespiratory fitness to evaluate risk is fairly rare, because how much risk reduction a given level of fitness gave you was unclear, according to researchers.
A review of studies however, shows that people with a low level of cardiorespiratory fitness have a 70 percent higher risk of death from any cause than those with a high level.
Fitness is measured in metabolic equivalents, or METs, and the researchers found that even a 1-MET increase in physical fitness was linked to a 15 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 13 percent lower risk of death. One MET is the amount of oxygen the body uses at rest.
None of this replaces the well-known risk factors for cardiovascular disease that already exist such as high cholesterol and triglycerides, but a patient who finds their blood test for cholesterol comes back high might consider an exercise plan to improve fitness and not merely to lose weight or lower cholesterol.
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