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Brisk Walking Cuts HF Risk Regardless of Activity Level in Women"s Health Study

In a study of close to 40,000 postmenopausal women (a mean age of 55 years), those who walked briskly were less likely to develop heart failure within the next 2 decades, after adjustment for relevant variables. Leisure-time exercise was also beneficial, but walking pace trumped that, in this analysis from theWomen"s Health Study. Walking pace remained associated with a lower risk of heart failure after correction for physical activity, but the reverse was not true.

During a median follow-up of 17 years, 635 women developed heart failure. Walking pace was inversely related to the risk of heart failure. However, in this case, the relationship persisted after an added adjustment for physical activity. Compared with the women who did not walk in their leisure time, the women who walked the most briskly had a 48% lower risk of developing heart failure (HR 0.52; 95% CI 0.41–0.66) and a 41% lower risk of this outcome (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.45–0.78) before and after adjustment for physical activity.

The data of the study were presented at the recent American Heart Association (AHA) Epidemiology and Prevention and Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health (EPI|Lifestyle) 2016 Scientific Sessions .