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Workout, Watch That Weight and Save Yourself from Higher Risks of Heart Failure

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Recent research associates exercise and fitness to an overall risk of heart failure. Regular physical activity and a monitored body weight can help in lowering the chances of a particular heart condition which is difficult to treat, says the research.


Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF)

Ejection fraction is defined as the total amount of blood that is pumped out of the heart. The human body demands a particular value of this ejection fraction. In cases of heart failure, the heart gets too weak to pump out enough blood, and the body’s demands aren’t met.

In Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction, the heart muscles stiffen. The pumping activity gets disturbed, and the heart is unable to fill up with the appropriate quantity of blood. It causes fluid buildup in the lungs and the body.

About 50% of all cases of heart failure are a cause of HFpEF. Treatments don’t always produce great results, which is why preventive measures are the best bet.

The Association between BMI, Physical Activity, and Risks of Heart Failure

The senior author of the mentioned study, Dr Jarett Berry elaborated on the effects of incorporating lifestyle changes like more exercise, weight-monitoring practices, proper diet, and such other factors and how they affect the health of the human heart.

Berry along with his colleagues used information from three previous studies. They reviewed over 51,000 people and excluded anybody with a current heart condition before they began the study.

Many factors were investigated during the research duration. These included the exact amount of exercise each participant got, their weight and changes in it, and an analysis of their medical records to determine any health-related scenario connected to a heart event.

The Findings and Conclusion

The researchers found out that the people who were more active were less affected by the traditional heart-affecting factors like obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes. The findings also stressed light on another fact- those who exercised more were mostly white males with a good education and better income.

People with excess weight, as the study suggests, were less active, young in age, and more likely to be prone to high blood pressure and such ailments.

Among all the subjects, the researchers recorded 3,200 cases of heart failure. Out of these, 40% were Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction, 29% were Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection Fraction, and 32% remained unclassified.

While the study doesn’t conclude a precise cause and effect relationship, it does associate physical activity to heart failure scenarios in some respect.

The study shows that a lower fitness level reduces the risk of heart failure by 6% when compared to no physical exercises. The followers of recommended exercise routines saw as much as 11% reduced the risk of a cardiac situation. Those who went a step ahead from the recommendation displayed about 19% reduced risk.

Dr Ambarish Pandey suggests that the study findings elevate the importance of lifestyle changes and the difference these changes make for a healthy heart. Dr Pandey is the first author of the research mentioned above and is a cardiology fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

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