Bengaluru: A study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine reveals that keeping fit, even if you’re born with a high genetic risk for heart disease, still works to keep your heart healthy. In an observational study of almost half-a-million participants, Stanford researchers discovered an association between high fitness levels and low heart disease, even among those at genetic risk.
“It is like not all smokers will have heart disease and only those who are genetically prone would have higher chances of getting a heart disease. Hence for such people, it does become immensely important to keep fit physically as it does lower heart disease chances by 25%,” stresses Dr Girish B. Navasundi, Consultant Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road. In one of the largest observational studies on fitness and heart disease, researchers examined the data collected in the UK Biobank database. They found that people with higher levels of grip strength, physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness had reduced risks of heart attacks and stroke, even if they had a genetic predisposition to heart disease.
Stressing the importance of physical fitness and preventive measures, Dr Navasundi says, “Our lifestyle, smoking and sitting have ruined our health. We were not designed to sit in front of our computers, but sadly our professions are like this. We should at least keep ourselves active and follow a healthy lifestyle. But what is more important is trusting science in healthcare so that diagnosis can come as an early rescue. It definitely helps reduce your chances even if you are genetically prone to heart diseases.”
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