According to new research, the number of pumps that a man can do in the doctor can be a good predictor of his risk of developing heart disease in the coming years.
In a study involving more than 1,100 male firefighters followed for 10 years, the researchers found that the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attacks, was 96% lower in men who could perform 40 or more tractions during the programmed periods. tests compared to men who could do less than 10.
The findings could lead to an easy test for the risk of heart disease, said Dr. Justin Yang, lead author of the study, a researcher at the T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Harvard, Boston.
"The use of pumps could be a simple and free method to assess its functional capacity and predict the risk of future cardiovascular events," Yang said. "For clinicians, this is very important because the results of many tests vary, they are very expensive and time consuming, it can be done in a minute."
To examine possible predictors of heart disease, Yang and his colleagues used data from 1,104 Indiana firefighters who underwent a medical examination between February 2, 2000 and November 12, 2007. Along with the pumping ability , many other measurements were recorded at the same time, including age, VO2 max (the maximum rate of oxygen consumed during intense exercise), height, weight , resting heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol level, blood sugar level and smoking status.
Initially, the average age of the firefighters was 39.6 years and their average body mass index (BMI, weight / height ratio) was 28.7 years, which is in the range of "overweight". "With firefighters represented on the calendars as muscular and fit, we tend to think of them as different from everyone, but this group is pretty much the same as the rest of the population," Yang said. "Half of them were overweight or obese."
During the study period, there were 37 findings related to cardiovascular disease in men, according to the report published by JAMA Network Open.
While other factors, such as age, BMI and VO2 were also predictive of the risk of cardiovascular events, uprisings were the main indicator, Yang said.
One of the highlights of the new study is that it relies on a measure of strength rather than on statements of physical activity, said Kerry Stewart, professor of medicine and director of physiology. of clinical exercise and research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. , Maryland.
Stewart suspects that men's lifting ability is simply an indicator of their fitness. "You have to be fit enough to make so many pumps," said Stewart who did not participate in the new research. "It would probably be necessary to exercise regularly to reach the level of 40 or more."
And fitness, Stewart said, correlates with a number of factors including blood pressure, cholesterol, and abdominal fat. The findings underscore the importance of guidelines that focus on both resistance training and aerobic exercise, Stewart noted.
Dr. Dennis Bruemmer was not surprised by the results. "We have long known that physical inactivity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is associated with worse consequences," said Bruemmer, associate professor of medicine and cardiologist at the Heart and Vascular Institute's Medical Center. 39, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. "Conversely, physical activity decreases cardiovascular risk."
The new research underscores the importance of following the current guidelines of the American Heart Association, which recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise a week, said Bruemmer, who did not participate in the new study. Such an exercise "could be easily integrated into the work environment and should be part of the work-life balance," said Bruemmer in an email.