ESC: Intensity Not Duration of Cycling Ups Survival

Relative intensity and not cycling duration tied to lower all-cause, CHD mortality in adults

TUESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The relative intensity and not the duration of cycling is associated with all-cause mortality risk, and specifically coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality, according to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2011 held Aug. 27 to 31 in Paris, France.

Peter Schnohr, M.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the effect of duration and intensity of cycling on all-cause and CHD mortality. Multivariate-adjusted survival benefit of cycling at various intensities (slow, average, fast) and durations per day (<0.5, 0.5-1, and >1 hour) was investigated. The adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause and CHD mortality were measured in relation to duration and intensity of cycling. Hazard ratios were adjusted for confounding factors including age, gender, number of other sports activities, body mass index, smoking, income, alcohol-intake, and diabetes.

The investigators found that the adjusted hazard ratios showed an inverse association between cycling intensity and all-cause mortality, which was even more pronounced for CHD. After adjusting for differences in age and conventional risk factors, men with fast and average-intensity cycling survived 5.3 and 2.9 years longer, respectively, than those with slow cycling intensity. Similarly, women with fast and average-intensity cycling survived 3.9 and 2.2 years longer, respectively, than those with slow cycling intensity.

"This study suggests that a greater part of the daily physical activity in leisure time should be vigorous, based on the individual's own perception of intensity," the authors state.

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