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Maintaining muscular strength decreases risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

According to this study published recently in the British Medical Journal, men who maintain their muscular strength reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers, independently of general cardiovascular fitness.

The authors set out to examine prospectively the association between muscular strength and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer in men.

They enrolled 8 762 men aged between 20 and 80 and the main outcome measure was all-cause mortality during an average follow-up of 18.9 years.

They found that 503 deaths occurred (145 cardiovascular disease, 199 cancer). Age-adjusted death rates per 10 000 person years across incremental thirds of muscular strength were 38.9, 25.9, and 26.6 for all causes; 12.1, 7.6, and 6.6 for cardiovascular disease; and 6.1, 4.9, and 4.2 for cancer (all p<0.01 for linear trend). After adjusting for age, physical activity, smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index, baseline medical conditions, and family history of cardiovascular disease, hazard ratios across incremental thirds of muscular strength for all-cause mortality were 1.0 (referent), 0.72 (95% confidence interval 0.58-0.90), and 0.77 (0.62-0.96); for death from cardiovascular disease were 1.0 (referent), 0.74 (0.50-1.10), and 0.71 (0.47-1.07); and for death from cancer were 1.0 (referent), 0.72 (0.51-1.00), and 0.68 (0.48-0.97). The pattern of the association between muscular strength and death from all causes and cancer persisted after further adjustment for cardiorespiratory fitness; however, the association between muscular strength and death from cardiovascular disease was attenuated after further adjustment for cardiorespiratory fitness.

The conclusion was that muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer in men, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders.

Ruiz JR, et al. BMJ 2008; 337: a439.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Abstracts
Author:Farham, Bridget
Publication:CME: Your SA Journal of CPD
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:311
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