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    Does moderate activity help heart health in younger women?

    Moderate activity in women aged 27 to 44 may lower the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to results of a new prospective analysis published in Circulation.

    Researchers looked at 97,230 women who were aged 27 to 44 at the study’s baseline in 1991. A biennial questionnaire was used to assess leisure-time physical activity. The associations between CHD risk and physical activity frequency, type, and volume were examined with Cox proportional hazard models.

    Over the course of 20 years of follow up, the authors found 544 incident cases of CHD. In models that were adjusted for multiple variables, the hazard ratio of CHD comparing ≥30 with <1 metabolic equivalent of task-hours/wk of physical activity was 0.75 (0.57–0.99) (P, trend=0.01). Brisk walking on its own was linked with significantly lower CHD risk. When models included overall activity volume, the frequency of physical activity was not linked with CHD risk. The association was not modified by body mass index (P, interaction=0.70).

    Next: What ob/gyns need to know about cardiovascular disease in pregnancy

    The data indicate that the total volume of leisure-time physical activity was linked to a lower risk of CHD among younger women. The researchers stressed that it was important to tell women that this was not by weight.

    Judith M. Orvos, ELS
    Judith M. Orvos, ELS, is a a BELS-certified medical writer and editor and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN.

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