Prepandemic Physical Activity Tied to COVID-19 Diagnosis

In addition to lower risk for infections, sufficient physical activity tied to lower hospitalization
Prepandemic Physical Activity Tied to COVID-19 Diagnosis
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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Higher prepandemic physical activity (PA) levels are associated with lower odds of developing and being hospitalized for COVID-19, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in JAMA Network Open.

Dennis Muñoz-Vergara, D.V.M., M.P.H., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the association between self-reported prepandemic PA levels and the risk and severity of COVID-19 in older U.S. adults. The analysis included data from three ongoing prospective randomized clinical trials of 61,557 U.S. adults (aged 45 years and older). 

The researchers found that when controlling for demographics, body mass index, lifestyle factors, comorbidities, and medications used, those insufficiently active had no significant reduction in infection (odds ratio [OR], 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.86 to 1.06) or hospitalization (OR, 0.98; 95 percent CI, 0.76 to 1.28) versus inactive individuals. However, participants who were sufficiently active had a significant reduction in infection (OR, 0.90; 95 percent CI, 0.84 to 0.97) and hospitalization (OR, 0.73; 95 percent CI, 0.60 to 0.90). The association with PA showed differences by sex, with only sufficiently active women having decreased odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR, 0.87; 95 percent CI, 0.79 to 0.95).

"Future studies including quantitative control of PA parameters, broader racial and ethnic diversity, and information from other potential confounders (e.g., sleep quality, dietary patterns, access to health care, and preventive behaviors) are warranted," the authors write.

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