- Heart disease risk is
reduced in older adults, who perform light to vigorous physical activity
- Physical activity helps protect against cardiovascular risk and
- To improve overall cardiovascular health, older
adults must do moderate exercise at least 150 minutes a week or
vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity 75 minutes a week (or a
combination of the two) and muscle-strengthening exercises two or more
days a week.
Adults in their early 60s, especially women,
benefit with healthier levels of heart and vessel disease markers if they spend
less time sitting and more time moving about doing light to vigorous activity,
says the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).
The study has been published in the Open Access
Journal of the AHA/ASA known as the Journal of the American Heart Association.
‘Older adults have to replace time spent sedentary with any intensity level of activity. Light to vigorous physical activity can protect them from cardiovascular risk.’
A significant risk factor
for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and premature death from cardiovascular
disease is physical inactivity
. Physical activity (PA) protects people from cardiovascular disease
partly due to its impact on
biomarkers in the blood that help predict atherosclerosis risk.
Conduct the Study - Whether light-intensity PA (LPA) in later life provides
cardiovascular benefits compared to higher PA
- Adults in the 60 to 64 age range go through a
significant transition between work and retirement when lifestyle
behaviors tend to change
- Older adults have a higher cardiovascular disease risk.
- Studies that examine relations between PA
intensity and markers of CVD are few and have focused mostly on men and
moderate-to-vigorous intensity (MVPA)
- Most data on effects of LPA are self-reported
- Sedentary or prolonged sitting/lying postures
have also been related to an increased CVD independently of PA
- Higher adiposity or a condition of being overweight or obese (an established CVD risk factor) could explain the
association between PA and CVD markers
The author felt that, therefore, it was vital to
understand how activity might influence risk in this age group.
Study - To
examine how Overall PA volume and the time spent in a sedentary lifestyle at
lower and higher PA intensities associated with CVD biomarkers at around the
age of 60
Participants included more than 1,600 British
volunteers, age 60 to 64, who wore heart rate and movement sensors for five
Apart from the amount of overall physical activity
performed, the sensors also specifically revealed the amount of light physical
activity, such as slow walking, stretching, golfing or gardening, versus
, such as brisk walking, bicycling, dancing,
tennis, squash, lawn mowing or vacuuming.
Blood levels for the following CVD markers were
- Inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and
interleukin 6 (IL-6)
- Endothelial markers
- Tissue-plasminogen activator protein (t-PA)
- E-Selectin (a cell adhesion molecule that plays
an integral part in inflammation)
- Cholesterol markers leptin and adiponectin
"We focused on these atherosclerosis
biomarkers as they are less studied and have been shown to predict risk of
cardiovascular events and death," said Ahmed Elhakeem, Ph.D., study author and senior
research associate in epidemiology at Bristol Medical School, University of
Bristol in the United Kingdom.
- Levels of leptin were lower both in men and women
(3.7 and 6.6 percent respectively) with every extra 10 minutes they spent
in moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity.
- Levels of the biomarker IL-6 were higher both in
men and women (0.l6 and 1.4 percent respectively) with every extra 10
minutes they spent in a sedentary manner.
- Levels of tPA were lower both in men and women at
around 0.8% with every extra 10-minute they spent in light intensity
- Lesser sedentary time and more significant time
spent in a low-intensity exercise were beneficially related to IL-6 and
t-PA, regardless of time spent at higher intensity activity.
- Adults with better cardiorespiratory fitness had
a healthier biomarker profile, although it got negated after controlling
for related differences in body fat; cardiorespiratory fitness was based
on an oxygen uptake step test.
- Total activity volume appeared related to these
biomarkers independently of underlying cardiorespiratory fitness.
- There were no notable associations with physical
activity and sedentary time with the cell adhesion molecule and biomarker
E‐selectin, although it was related to fitness levels.
- Hence, physical activity might lower CVD risk by
improving blood vessel function and increased sedentary time may be
negatively affected by endothelial function.
The AHA, therefore, suggests a weekly minimum of
150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity
aerobic physical activity or alternating both, along with muscle-strengthening
exercises two or more days a week for older adults to cut down on heart risk.
- Older adults who get physical can lower their heart disease risk - (https://newsroom.heart.org/news/older-adults-who-get-physical-can-lower-their-heart-disease-risk?preview=4b892)
- Physical Activity, Sedentary Time, and Cardiovascular Disease Biomarkers at Age 60 to 64 Years - (https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.117.007459)