Fitness In Midlife Staves Off Later Life Chronic Disease
Yes, we figured that it was a good thing to be fit in midlife, but until now we didn’t know how good that good thing is. Researchers at the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas are persuaded that a high level of fitness in our 30s, 40s, and 50s, can lowers the likelihood of chronic disease in the final years of life. A Southwestern Med Center news release reports that researchers examined the patient data of 18,670 participants in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, with more than 250,000 medical records maintained over a 40-year span. That data were linked with the patients’ Medicare claims filed later in life from ages 70 to 85. The researchers found that when patients increased fitness levels by 20 percent in their midlife years, they decreased their chances of developing chronic diseases – congestive heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, and colon cancer – decades later by 20 percent. Dr. Jarett Berry, assistant professor of internal medicine and senior author of the study, said the results suggest that aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, or running translates not only into more years of life but also into higher quality years, compressing the burden of chronic illness into a shorter amount of time at the end of life. Read more from the Southwestern Medical Center.