Regular physical activity reduces risk of instant death during heart attacks; Study

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology has suggested that regular physical activity not only helps to improve our overall fitness but can also reduce the chances of sudden death from a heart attack.

The study revealed that individuals with a higher level of physical activity were correlated with a lower level of risk towards instant and 28-day fatal heart attack in a manner that often replicated a dose-response relationship.

Research showed that subjects with moderate and high levels of leisure-time physical activity reduced their risk of instant death by 33 and 45 percent respectively when compared to individuals who had a sedentary lifestyle. These numbers were at 36 and 28 percent respectively after 28 days.

Sharing some insights into the study, the researcher, Dr. Kim Wadt Hansen of Bispebjerg Hospital in Denmark pointed out that “Almost 18 percent of patients with a heart attack died within 28 days, substantiating the severity of this condition. We found an immediate survival benefit of prior physical activity in the setting of a heart attack, a benefit which seemed preserved at 28 days.”

The Study

The team of researchers used patient data from 28,140 individuals collected from 10 European observational cohorts including healthy participants with a baseline assessment of physical activity who had a heart attack during follow-up. The research participants were further categorized as sedentary, low, moderate or highly active individuals based on their weekly leisure-time activities.

Guidelines from the Study

The study recommends healthy adults of all ages to carry out at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination thereof.