ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2011) — If you maintain or improve your fitness level — even if your body weight has not changed or increased — you can reduce your risk of death, according to research reported inCirculation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
In a study of 14,345 adult men, mostly white and middle or upper class, researchers found that:
- Maintaining or improving fitness was associated with a lower death risk even after controlling for Body Mass Index (BMI) change.
- Every unit of increased fitness (measured as MET, metabolic equivalent of task) over six years was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of heart disease and stroke-related deaths and a 15 percent lower risk of death from any cause.
- Becoming less fit was linked to higher death risk, regardless of BMI changes.
- BMI change was not associated with death risks.