Its great when you discover stuff that is personally meaningful — but its even more gratifying when those discoveries have broader relevance.
A few days ago I ran across this study that was published (Sep 2014) in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, essentially validating the point I was making through my own personal observations – that higher fitness can improve your blood pressure.
The study (lead author – Junxiu Liu, MD from the University of South Carolina) looked at data collected on ~14,000 men between 20-60 years who did not have hypertension, cardiovascular disease or cancer. Their baseline fitness was assessed and the study tracked them subsequently over multiple visits / years.
The results on blood pressure (hypertension) were striking – on average systolic blood pressure starting rising into pre-hypertensive level (>120 mmHg) at around 50 years of age. Higher baseline fitness had the effect of delaying the onset of systolic and diastolic blood pressure by literally 10 years.
The study authors are planning a follow-on analysis of data for women.
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(12):1245-1253. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2014.06.1184
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