Heart failure: limiting a sedentary lifestyle may reduce risk in women over 50

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No miracle: To limit the risk of heart failure, women over 50 should limit their sedentary activities and exercise more. In any case, that's what a new scientific study suggests.

Even with regular physical activity, women over 50 who spend a lot of time sedentary (sitting or lying down) see their risk of heart failure significantly increased. This is what American researchers found in a scientific study, the results of which are published in the specialized journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

"To prevent heart failure, we must promote frequent breaks after prolonged sitting or lying down, in addition to trying to achieve recommended levels of physical activity," said Michael. J. LaMonte, lead author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology research at the School of Public Health and Health Professions at the University at Buffalo (New York, United States). "Very few studies have been published on sedentary time and heart failure risk, and even fewer studies have focused on older women in whom a sedentary lifestyle and heart failure are quite common," he added.

The study here was conducted using the records of nearly 81,000 postmenopausal women (median age 63) who participated in the Womens Health Initiative Observational Study. Participants reported how long they spent the day sitting, lying down, or physically active. The researchers then ranked the participants according to their total daily inactivity time.

"For your cardiovascular health, sit less"

During the mean follow-up of 9 years, 1,402 women were hospitalized for heart failure. Compared with women who reported spending less than 6.5 hours a day sitting or lying down, the risk of hospitalization for heart failure was:

15% more among women who report 6.6 to 9.5 hours a day spent sitting or lying down;

42% more among women who report spending more than 9.5 hours a day sitting or lying down.

Compared with women who reported sitting less than 4.5 hours a day, the risk of hospitalization for heart failure was:

14% more in women who sat between 4.6 and 8.5 hours a day;

and 54% more for women who sit more than 8.5 hours a day.

"Our message is simple: sit less and move more. Historically, we have focused on promoting a physically active lifestyle for heart health, and we must continue to do so! However, our study clearly shows that we must also redouble our efforts. to reduce daily sedentary time and encourage adults to frequently interrupt their sedentary time, "said Prof. Michael J. LaMonte. He clarified that "it does not necessarily require a long period of physical activity; you can stand for 5 minutes or stand and move your feet. We do not have enough evidence on the best approach to recommend to interrupt sedentary activity. However, the accumulation of data suggests that routine activities such as housework and other activities of daily living are an important aspect of the prevention of cardiovascular disease and healthy aging, "added the researcher.

Although the study was only conducted in women over the age of 50, the scientists believe their findings are likely to generalize to men.

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