Moderate physical activity in sedentary older adults reduced the progression of injury to the heart, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.
In a pilot study, 310 adults 70 years and older with a previously sedentary lifestyle, were randomly assigned to one-year supervised physical activity or to health education controls.
Troponin T, a blood-based injury marker which historically has been used for the diagnosis of heart attack was measured with a new high sensitive cardiac assay (hs cTnT).
The levels, measured at baseline and at one year, had more than a three times increase in the control population than in the exercise group, researchers said.
"Our findings suggest biochemical evidence to support the old adage, 'You're never too old to start a physical activity program to improve cardiac health,'" said Christopher DeFilippi, M.D., study lead author.
Researchers will further explore the impact of exercise on successful aging in a National Institute of Aging study.