In that cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with heart failure risk, Stephanie K. Brinker, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Texas, USA), and colleagues explored the mechanism through which fitness lowers heart failure risk. The team assessed fitness in 1,678 men and 1,247 women enrolled in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Participants received an echocardiogram from 1999 to 2011 and were categorized into age-specific quartiles of fitness, with quartile 1 representing low fitness. The researchers found that higher levels of mid-life fitness (metabolic equivalents) correlated with larger indexed left atrial volume and indexed left ventricular end-diastolic diameter. There was also a correlation for higher level of fitness with a smaller relative wall thickness and E/e' ratio. Writing that: “low fitness is associated with a higher prevalence of concentric remodeling and diastolic dysfunction,” the study authors submit that: “exercise may lower heart failure risk through its effect on favorable cardiac remodeling and improved diastolic function.”
Stephanie K. Brinker; Ambarish Pandey; Colby R. Ayers; Carolyn E. Barlow; Laura F. DeFina; Benjamin L. Willis; et al. “Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Left Ventricular Remodeling and Diastolic Function: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study.” JCHF, April 30, 2014.
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