Posted on Aug 08, 2018, 7 p.m.
Older adults spending less time be sedentary and more time engaging in physical activities have healthier levels of heart and vessels disease indicators, results from increased physical activity were found to be especially well among women, as published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Inactivity is a well documented risk factor for CVD and premature death. Protective effects of physical activity is likely due to impact on biomarkers in the blood that help to predict atherosclerosis risk. The age group of 60-64 is a transitional range between work and retirement when lifestyles and behaviors tend to change, and may represent an opportunity to promote the benefits of increased physical activity, as CVD risks are higher in older adults explains Ahmed Elhakeem, Ph.D of the University of Bristol.
Upwards of 1,600 participants in the age grouping of 60-64 were involved in this study, who wore heart rate and movements sensors for 5 days. Sensors revealed how much physical activity was being done including light activities such walking, stretching, gardening, and golfing vs moderate to vigorous activities such as dancing, brisk walking, vacuuming, tennis, squash, mowing the lawn, or bicycling.
Researcher screened blood levels of all participants to analyze for markers of CVD including inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and interleukin 6, endothelial markers, tissue plasminogen activators, and E-selectin molecules. Researchers chose to focus on atherosclerosis biomarkers as they are less studied and have been shown to predict CVD events and death.
It was found that each additional 10 minutes performing vigorous to moderate intensity activities was associated with leptin levels 3.7% lower in male participants and 6.6% lower in female participants; each 10 minutes being sedentary was associated with 0.6% higher IL-6 level in male participants and 1.4% higher levels in female participants; and each additional 10 minutes spent performing light physical activities was associated with 0.8% lower t-PA levels in both male and female participants.
Increased times performing low intensity physical activities and less sedentary time were beneficially related to t-PA and IL-6 regardless of time spent performing more intensity activities. Participants with better cardiorespiratory fitness had healthier biomarker profiles, effect largely disappeared after controlling for related differences in body fat. Activity volume seemed to be related to biomarkers independently of underlying cardiorespiratory fitness. E-selectin was the only biomarker showing no notable associations with sedentary time and physical activity.
Researchers suggest according to findings performing physical activity may lower CVD risk via improving blood vessel function, and increased sedentary time may be adversely related to endothelial function. Biomarkers and activity were measured at the same time and did not establish whether biomarkers influenced activity or if activity influenced biomarkers.
It is suggested by the American Heart Association to improve overall cardiovascular health at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week or a combination of the 2, and muscle strengthening exercises 2 or more days a week.
Materials provided by American Heart Association.
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Ahmed Elhakeem Rachel Cooper Peter Whincup Soren Brage Diana Kuh Rebecca Hardy. Physical Activity, Sedentary Time, and Cardiovascular Disease Biomarkers at Age 60 to 64 Years. JAHA, 2018 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.007459