Good news for people who exercise (whether they exercise regularly or occasionally): a new study points out that the probability of sudden death will be significantly lower for people who exercise in any degree of leisure time than for those who do not exercise at all.
Those who exercise occasionally, such as those who exercise less than the level recommended in the 2008 American sports guide, still have a 20% lower risk of sudden death than those who do not exercise at all. Those who met the minimum requirements in the guidelines had a 31% lower rate of sudden death.
For those who regularly exercise, such as those who exercise far more than the recommended amount, the sudden death rate will also have a more significant decline. “People need to at least reach the recommended amount of exercise,” said Dr. Hannah AREM, the lead researcher of the study. “But doctors do not need to remind patients who exercise regularly that they may have a higher risk of sudden death.”
The results were published in JAMA International Medical Journal on April 6.
According to the current health guidelines in the United States, the recommended amount of exercise per person per week is about 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
Dr. AREM admitted that there have been many studies analyzing the relationship between sports and the risk of sudden death. And they did conclude that higher exercise intensity was accompanied by lower risk of sudden death. However, these studies tend to regard people with high levels of exercise as the same group.
“Sometimes these high-intensity exercise groups are often squeezed for single risk analysis, and we are more concerned about whether there is a dose-related effect. That is to say, when the exercise intensity becomes very high, what is the risk of sudden death? In recent years, some studies believe that high-intensity exercise is easy to increase the risk of sudden death, and our research conclusion is opposite.”
In their study, the researchers mined data from six separate studies from the National Cancer Institute, all of which were large group studies from the United States or Europe. A total of 661137 participants were included in the study, with a follow-up time of 14.2 years, of which 116686 died.
For people whose exercise intensity is lower than the recommended level, but who still have a certain amount of exercise, their risk of sudden death caused by all factors is 20% lower. For those who meet the recommended level, that is, 140-280 minutes of fast walking or 45-90 minutes of running every week, the risk of sudden death is 31% lower. The risk of sudden death is 37% lower for people who exercise twice or three times as much as the recommended amount. For those with higher risk, the risk of sudden death is 39% lower. In addition, they found that the higher the intensity of exercise, the lower the risk of sudden death, even if this decreasing trend is less and less obvious.
In addition, a study led by Dr. Klaus gebel also found a dose correlation between exercise and the risk of sudden death. Their study included 204542 Australian adults aged 45-75 years. However, unlike NCI’s sample, they found that this decreasing trend became more intense with the continuous increase of exercise intensity.
In his introduction to the two studies, Dr. Todd manini wrote: “no single treatment can affect multiple tissues and organs of the body like exercise.”
For manini, the most interesting point is that 52848 participants in NCI’s sample basically have no exercise habits. The basic age of this group is below 60 years old, with the characteristics of smoking and obesity, and the education level is less than the university level.
It is very difficult to change the exercise habits of patients, which is affected by environmental, social and personal factors. However, Dr. manini believes that the doctor’s advice is very helpful.