Sex-Specific Differences Seen in Link Between Exercise and All-Cause, CVD Death

Regular physical activity linked to reduced risk for all-cause mortality in women and men, with greater reduction for women
Sex-Specific Differences Seen in Link Between Exercise and All-Cause, CVD Death
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Sex-specific differences are seen in the association between leisure-time physical activity and all-cause and cardiovascular death, according to a study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Hongwei Ji, M.D., from Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital, and colleagues examined whether physical activity-derived health benefits differ by sex in a prospective study of 412,413 U.S. adults (55 percent female). The sex-specific multivariable-adjusted associations of physical activity measures were examined along with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality from 1997 through 2019.

The researchers found there were 39,935 all-cause deaths, including 11,670 cardiovascular deaths, during 4,911,178 person-years of follow-up. Compared with inactivity, regular leisure-time physical activity was associated with a reduced risk for all-cause mortality in women and men (hazard ratios, 0.76 and 0.85, respectively). For men, the maximal survival benefit (hazard ratio, 0.81) was achieved from 300 minutes/week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; women achieved a similar benefit at 140 minutes/week and continued to reach maximum survival benefit (hazard ratio, 0.76) at about 300 minutes/week. Similar sex-specific findings were seen for cardiovascular death; findings were consistent across all measures of aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activity.

"Women compared with men derived greater gains in all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk reduction from equivalent doses of leisure-time physical activity," the authors write. "These findings could motivate efforts to close the 'gender gap' by encouraging especially women to engage in any regular leisure-time physical activity."

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