-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Physically unfit men who do
heavy work may be at increased risk for fatal heart attack, a new
It also found that income did not influence this risk, even
though men in lower socioeconomic levels are more likely to have
lifestyle risk factors such as obesity and smoking.
Danish researchers compared men in lower and higher
socioeconomic levels. Thirty percent of the men in the lower
socioeconomic group did heavy physical work, compared with 3.5
percent of those in the higher socioeconomic group.
Men in the lower social classes had a 14 percent long-term risk
for death from ischemic heart disease (such as heart attack)
compared with about 9 percent for those in the higher social
But poor physical fitness, not low social class, was the main
risk factor. Overall, men with poor fitness who did heavy work were
nearly three times more likely to die from ischemic heart disease
than those who did light physical work. Fit men who did heavy work
were about 40 percent less likely to die from heart disease than
unfit men who did heavy work.
"These observations indicate that physical fitness is a protector of or a risk modifier among men exposed to high physical loads on their cardiovascular system," wrote Andreas Holtermann, of Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen, and colleagues.
The study appears in the November issue of the
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a
guide to a healthy heart.
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