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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall . . . Part 2

Posted Mar 08 2013 3:00am
Yesterday, we looked at a risk calculator developed to help quantify one's risk of dying over the next 10 years as a means to start discussing risk versus benefit regarding any appropriate treatment.  After all, age shouldn't be the only factor in deciding upon whether to perform a procedure or not.  In fact, I'd wager better odds in a healthy 75yo compared to a sickly 65yo.  Another way to predict all-cause mortality & cardiovascular mortality is cardiorespiratory fitness but this requires specialized equipment and training, which isn't always available in rural and low income urban areas.

Therefore I read w/great interest a study published earlier this week in the European Heart Journal in which the authors developed a non-exercise measure of cardiorespiratory fitness (NET-F) using several readily available risk factors determined by following 32,319 participants 35-70yo for 9yrs.  Ironically, it turns out that the sum of these risk factors was better than use of the risk factors in isolation.  Specifically, the calculator made use of gender, age, body mass index, resting heart rate & self-reported physical activity.

OK, so maybe you can't control your resting heart rate & body mass index as much you can just about every other risk factor.  But with continued aerobic exercise, RHR & BMI does tend to decrease as one becomes more fit.  That leaves gender & age as factors out of your control but self-reported physical activity is still under your control.  In other words, you're still the master of your fate.  So don't just sit there, do something!

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