Heart problems may be revealed through jogging test

20th May 2011

Middle-aged men who are worried about experiencing heart problems as they age may soon be given a simple jogging test to determine their risk.

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Centre in America discovered that determining how fast a middle-aged man could run a mile shows how likely they are to suffer a heart attack or stroke within the next ten years.

They used data from more than 11,000 patients who had been tested for heart problems at a hospital in Dallas between 1970 and 1990 and found that around ten per cent of them had died from a heart attack before 2006.

By analysing the data they discovered that a 55-year-old man who took 15 minutes to run a mile on a treadmill had a 30 per cent chance of suffering from a heart attack, whereas those who could run it in eight minutes had only a ten per cent chance.

Study co-author Jarrett Berry said: "Heart disease tends to cluster at older ages, but if you want to prevent it, our research suggests that the prescription for prevention needs to occur earlier – when a person is in his 40s and 50s."

The British Heart Foundation suggests that people should exercise, maintain a healthy diet and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol to try and prevent heart disease.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Berry, Jarrett. "Lifetime Risks for Cardiovascular Disease Mortality by Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels Measured at Ages 45, 55, and 65 Years in Men: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study." Journal of the American College of Cardiology. May 24th 2011.

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