Moderate to high levels of aerobic capacity could partially reduce risk of sudden cardiac death

UCA researchers, collaborating with the Exercise and Epidemiology Science and Biostatistics Departments from the University of South Carolina in Columbine (USA), have carried out a study focused in knowing how important the aerobic capacity in the sudden death prevention is, paying special attention to those people who have some pathology such as obesity and hypertension.

This investigation has been leaded by David Jiménez Pavón (Ramón y Cajal researcher) and Vanesa España Romero as a co-author, belonging both to the University of Cadiz. The study has been published in the prestigious magazine Mayo Clinic Proceedings (from the Fundación de Investigación Mayo) and has had as reference the "Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study-ACLS" project.

To carry on with this study, more than 55.000 people from the USA were evaluated and were followed up during an average of 14 years. All of them took an exhaustive initial exam which included the measuring of the aerobic capacity through a specific laboratory test. After that, the sudden death cases were registered during the time tracking.

It was verified that the aerobic capacity level is inversely proportional to the risk of suffering a sudden cardiac death event. Those participants with moderated or high levels of aerobic capacity had between a 44 and 48% lower risk of suffering a sudden cardiac death event than those with low aerobic capacity. These results were higher when analysing the specific role of the aerobic capacity in people with obesity and hypertension, since it was proved that a moderated or high aerobic capacity could reduce between a 58 and 72% the risk of sudden cardiac death.

The main conclusion of this study suggests that the risk of sudden cardiac death in men and women could be partially reduced if the aerobic capacity achieve moderate to high levels. This improvements begin to produce progressively with small increments of the aerobic capacity (14% of decrease for each METs of increase - unit of measure to express the aerobic functional unity-). For all of that, it must be remarked that "it is necessary to encourage the population to entrust professional of physical activity and exercise to improve their physical fitness in a safe and progressive way", according to the researchers in charge of this study from the Physical, Plastic Arts and Music Education Department from the UCA where they carry out their research activity currently.


University of Cadiz


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