Monday, March 30, 2009

Middle Aged? Not Too Late to Get Benefit from Activity

Swedish researchers published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) a study that aimed to examine how change in level of physical activity after middle age influences mortality and to compare it with the effect of smoking cessation. Researchers surveyed 2205 men aged 50 in 1970-3, then re-examined them at ages 60, 70, 77, and 82 years. They found that mortality was lowest among the most active men. Men who increased their activity level from low/moderate to high between the ages of 50 and 60 saw a drop in mortality after an initial period of 10 years. Before 10 years, no survival advantage was observed. An increase in physical activity has the same impact on lowering mortality rate in the long term as smoking cessation.

Reference Article:

Total mortality after changes in leisure time physical activity in 50 year old men: 35 year follow-up of population based cohort.
Byberg L, Melhus H, Gedeborg R, Sundström J, Ahlbom A, Zethelius B, Berglund LG, Wolk A, Michaëlsson K. BMJ. 2009 Mar 5;338:b688. (Free Full Article)
doi: 10.1136/bmj.b688.
PMID: 19264819