The conventional way to evaluate the risk for cardiovascular disease is by examining levels of cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. Also included when assessing the risk for cardiovascular disease are information such as blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.
All this information is valid, but it turns out that testing the fitness level can improve the predictability of cardiovascular risk.
The study reviewed here included more than 66,000 participants without cardiovascular disease ages 20 to 90 (Gupta S, et al. 2011). These individuals were followed until death or the end of the study period, which lasted up to 36 years.
The conclusion of the research was that a single measurement of fitness significantly improves classification of both short-term (10 years) and long-term (25 years) risk for cardiovascular disease mortality when added to traditional risk factors.
Improving cardiovascular fitness does not have to take a lot of time if you implement short duration high intensity interval training. If you would like to know more about that click here to read a blog from August 5, 2009 on that topic.
To read the original abstract, click on the reference below.
Gupta S, Rohatgi A, Ayers CR, Willis BL, Haskell WL, Khera A, Drazner MH, de Lemos JA, Berry JD. Cardiorespiratory fitness and classification of risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. Circulation. 2011 Apr 5;123(13):1377-83. Epub 2011 Mar 21.