Becoming active in middle age still offers health benefits

Becoming active in middle age still offers health benefits

(HealthDay)—Becoming physically active in middle age may provide comparable health benefits to long-term participation in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), according to a study published online March 8 in JAMA Network Open.

Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from 315,059 adult AARP members living in six states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania) or two (Atlanta and Detroit) who participated in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study (1995 to 1996). All-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related, and cancer-related mortality were followed through 2011. Baseline interviews were conducted to gather data on LTPA (hours per week).

The researchers identified 10 LTPA trajectories (maintaining, increasing, and decreasing LTPA across time). During the study period, 71,377 deaths due to all causes, 22,219 deaths due to CVD, and 16,388 deaths due to cancer occurred. Participants who maintained the highest levels of LTPA had lower all-cause (hazard ratio [HR], 0.64), CVD-related (HR, 0.58), and cancer-related (HR, 0.86) compared with participants who were consistently inactive during adulthood. A benefit was also seen for adults who were less active throughout most of the adult life course but increased LTPA in later adulthood (40 to 61 years of age), with lower risks seen for all-cause (HR, 0.65), CVD-related (HR, 0.57), and cancer-related (HR, 0.84) mortality.

"Inactive adults may be encouraged to be more active, whereas who are already active may strive to maintain their activity level as they get older," the authors write.

Explore further

Leisure time exercise linked to reduced mortality in T1DM

More information: Abstract/Full Text
Journal information: JAMA Network Open

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Becoming active in middle age still offers health benefits (2019, March 11) retrieved 16 August 2022 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors