People in good physical condition are less likely to suffer from atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to stroke.
- Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder, which can result in a stroke.
- Having a good physical condition reduces the risk of being affected.
- The fitter a person is, the lower this risk is.
Playing sports is good for your health, no one can contradict that. But what are the concrete effects of a good physical condition on our body? According to a new study, among its many benefits, sport reduces the risk of suffering from atrial fibrillation. This disturbance of the rhythm “decreases the efficiency of the heart, which fulfills its role as a pump less well“, specifies theHealth Insurance. “This phenomenon can be the cause of heart failure or the aggravation of an associated heart disease..” But it can also lead to a stroke. According to the French Federation of Cardiologyabout 300,000 people suffer from it in France.
Atrial fibrillation: how to measure the effects of physical activity?
In this new research, which will be presented on August 25 at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, researchers have observed the effects of good physical condition on this heart disorder. They used data from nearly 15,000 people without atrial fibrillation. All completed a treadmill test between 2003 and 2012.”Fitness was assessed using the Bruce Protocol, in which participants are asked to walk faster and at a steeper incline in successive three-minute steps“, specify the authors in a communicated. Fitness was calculated based on the rate of energy expenditure achieved by participants, expressed in metabolic equivalents (MET).
Sport: good physical condition reduces the risk of cardiovascular disorders
Then the participants were followed for several years to identify cases of atrial fibrillation, or stroke, myocardial infarction and death. Several other factors that could have an impact on these health problems were taken into account, such as cholesterol levels, medication intake or history. A total of 3.3% of patients developed atrial fibrillation over a period of approximately ten years. “Each increase in MET on the treadmill test was associated with an 8% lower risk of atrial fibrillation and 12% lower risk of stroke.”, observe the authors. Participants were categorized into three fitness levels based on the METs obtained during the treadmill test: low (less than 8.57 METs), medium (8.57 to 10.72), and high (more than 10.72 ). “The probability of remaining free of atrial fibrillation over a five-year period was 97.1%, 98.4%, and 98.4% in the low, medium, and high fitness groups, respectively.”, they point out. According to these scientists from Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taipei, these results are proof that good physical condition is part of the means of preventing atrial fibrillation and strokes.