Can individuals' walking pace impact their heart failure risk?
In a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society of postmenopausal women, those who reported a faster walking pace had a lower risk of developing heart failure.
Among 25,183 women ages 50–79 years, there were 1,455 heart failure hospitalization cases during a median follow-up of 16.9 years. Compared with women who walked at a casual pace, those who walked at an average pace or a fast pace had 27% and 34% lower risks of heart failure, respectively.
Fast walking for less than 1 hour per week was associated with the same risk reduction of heart failure as average or casual walking for more than 2 hours per week.
"This study confirms other studies demonstrating the importance of walking speed on mortality and other cardiovascular outcomes," said senior author Charles B. Eaton, MD, MS, of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. "Given that limited time for exercise is frequently given as a barrier to regular physical activity, walking faster but for less time might provide similar health benefits as the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity."