Coaching & PE

Fit teenagers at less heart attack risk

Youth RugbyResearchers in Sweden have found an association between a person’s fitness as a teenager and their risk of heart attack in later life.

In a study of nearly 750,000 men, they found that the more aerobically fit men were in late adolescence, the less likely they were to have a heart attack 30 or 40 years later.

However, fit but overweight or obese men still had a significantly higher risk of a heart attack than unfit, lean men, suggesting that not only is it more important not to be overweight or obese than to be fit, but that it’s even better to be both fit and a normal weight.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, found that the relationship between aerobic fitness and heart attack occurred regardless of the men’s body mass index (BMI) when they were teenagers.

Professor Peter Nordström, of Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, who led the research, said: “Our findings suggest that high aerobic fitness in late adolescence may reduce the risk of heart attack later in life.

However, being very fit does not appear to fully compensate for being overweight or obese in respect to this risk.

Source: European Heart Journal

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