In a study of older adults, Canadian scientists have found that adopting a regular exercise routine for the first time later in life reduces the development of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
Researchers at the University of Western Ontario, London, examined the effect of exercise training on the development of metabolic markers of cardiovascular disease in two groups of healthy, but sedentary, adults between the ages of 55 and 75 years. One group began regular supervised physical exercise training and the other remained sedentary and acted as a comparison "control" group. Baseline fitness levels were similar between groups. After 10 years, complete data were available for 161 active and 136 sedentary participants. Active subjects demonstrated a 3.5% increase in fitness levels versus a 13.8% decrease in the sedentary group. As well, sedentary participants exhibited significantly more metabolic abnormalities than active patients.
Overall, after 10 years 11% of active patients and 28% of sedentary patients had a cluster of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and obesity that increase the likelihood of developing heart disease and diabetes
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