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Physical Activity May Cut Fatality Risk in Myocardial Infarction

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- A moderate-to-high level of past physical activity (PA) is associated with a lower risk for instant and 28-day death in relation to myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published online Feb. 10 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Kim Wadt Hansen, M.D., from Bispebjerg Frederiksberg University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues evaluated the association between past level of PA and risk for death during the acute phase of MI. The analysis included data from 10 cohorts (total 1,495,254 participants, of whom 28,140 had an incident MI). Based on weekly energy expenditure, leisure-time PA was classified as sedentary (<7 metabolic equivalent [MET]-hours), low (7 to 16 MET-hours), moderate (16.1 to 32 MET-hours), or high (>32 MET-hours).

The researchers found that 4,976 patients with MI (17.7 percent) died within 28 days, of whom 3,101 (62.3 percent) were classified as instant fatal MI. Those with a higher level of PA had lower adjusted odds of instant fatal MI compared with sedentary individuals (low PA: odds ratio [OR], 0.79; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.60 to 1.04; moderate PA: OR, 0.67; 95 percent CI, 0.51 to 0.89; and high PA: OR, 0.55; 95 percent CI, 0.40 to 0.76). For 28-day fatal MI, results were similar (low PA: OR, 0.85; 95 percent CI, 0.71 to 1.03; moderate PA: OR, 0.64; 95 percent CI, 0.51 to 0.80; and high PA: OR, 0.72; 95 percent CI, 0.51 to 1.00).

"Based on our analyses, even a low amount of leisure-time physical activity may in fact be beneficial against fatal heart attacks, but statistical uncertainty precludes us from drawing any firm conclusions on that point," Hansen said in a statement.

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