It is already known that walking pace is linked to increased hospital admissions and the incidence of falls and disability. Now experts say walking slowly is "strongly associated" with an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke.
To reach the conclusion, researchers reviewed 3,208 men and women aged 65-85 over five years, reports The Scotsman.
In the study, published online in the British Medical Journal, experts monitored walking speed using a series of tests, including checking normal walking speed and the maximum speed people could manage without running.
Over the course of the study, 209 people died (99 from cancer, 59 from cardiovascular disease and 51 from other causes).
The authors, from University Pierre and Marie Curie in France, found: "Participants in the lowest third of walking speed had about a threefold increased risk of cardiovascular death, even when factors likely to influence the results were taken into account."