How Old Are You … Really?
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have developed a formula to calculate physiological age based on exercise capacity – how the heart responds to exercise and how quickly it recovers afterward. The study, which ran from 1991 through 2015, included 126,356 patients who were referred for an exercise stress test. The test is commonly used to help diagnose heart problems, and involves walking on a treadmill, which becomes progressively more difficult the longer it lasts. The average age of the participants was 53.5, and 59 percent of them were men. Test results showed that more than half the patients between the ages of 50 and 60 were physiologically younger than their chronological age. The researchers coined the term “A-BEST” which stands for “Age Based on Exercise Stress Testing” to describe physiological age. After 8.7 years of follow up, 9,929 of the study participants had died. On average, they were chronologically 10 years older than those who survived, but the researchers reported that the A-BEST age of the deceased was a “significantly better predictor of survival than chronological age” even after adjustments for factors including sex, smoking, body mass index, statin use, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and end-stage kidney disease. Bottom line, according to study author, cardiologist Serge Harb: If you want to live longer, exercise more.
Serge C Harb et al, “Estimated age based on exercise stress testing performance outperforms chronological age in predicting mortality.” European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, February 13, 2019, doi: 10.1177/2047487319826400
Also in this week’s bulletin:
- Exercise To Prevent Depression
- Push-Ups Signal Heart Disease Risk
- This week’s recipe: Chocolate Banana Tart