AHA: Middle-Aged Fitness Lowers Health Care Costs Later

Findings persist even after adjusting for other risk factors in both men and women

FRIDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged fitness is significantly associated with lower health care charges in older age, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care & Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions, held from May 9 to 11 in Atlanta.

Justin M. Bachmann, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues analyzed linked data for Medicare claims files from 20,489 participants from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Participants were healthy individuals (mean age 51 years; 21 percent female) free from prior myocardial infarction, stroke, or cancer. The Balke protocol treadmill time was used to estimate fitness.

The researchers found that participants with high fitness (quintiles 4 and 5) measured at a mean age of 51 years were associated with significantly lower median annual health care charges at age ≥65 in both men ($3,277 versus $5,134) and women ($2,755 versus $4,565), compared to those with low fitness (quintile 1). The inverse associations between fitness and health care charges significantly persisted after multivariable adjustment in men and women. When fitness was analyzed as a continuous variable, similar findings were observed in both men and women.

"Higher fitness in healthy, middle-aged adults is strongly associated with lower health care charges decades later in older age, independent of other traditional risk factors," the authors conclude.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Press Release
More Information

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95

Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95

Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events