Older sedentary adults reduced injury to heart through moderate physical activity

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 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.

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