What push-ups can tell you about your cardiovascular risk


EXCERPT: Can you do 40 push ups? No, not over the course of a month, but in a row? If not, can you do at least ten? The answers to these questions may help you determine your risk of heart problems over the next decade, according to a study recently published in JAMA Network Open. The study did focus on 1104 male firefighters who were on average 39.6 years old with a standard deviation in age of 9.2 years.

[...] For each of the 1104 firefighters, the research team had data on whether the firefighter was eventually diagnosed with coronary artery disease or had a major cardiovascular disease event, such as heart failure or sudden cardiac death, in the years after the push-up test up till December 31, 2010. The researchers then tried to determine if there was an association between how the firefighters did on the push-up test and these cardiovascular outcomes.

Call the results more than a push for the push-up test. Those who did more than 40 push-ups were 96% less likely to have had a cardiovascular problem in the subsequent years compared to those who could do no more than 10 push-ups. For all of the other groups, the research team found a rough association between being able to more push-ups and a reduced likelihood of having a cardiovascular problem. For example, compared to those who did 10 or fewer push-ups, those who did between 11 and 20 push-ups were 64% less likely, those who did between 21 and 30 were 84% less likely, and those who did between 31 and 40 were 75% less likely to have eventually developed cardiovascular problems.

The researchers found that these associations seemed to roughly follow the risk associations seen with exercise tolerance testing. This prompted the researchers to wonder if a push-up test could be "a simple, no-cost measure, [which] may provide a surrogate estimate of functional status among middle-aged men." In other words, when a treadmill and exercise tolerance testing is not available, can you just see how many push-ups a person can do as a quick and dirty way (really dirty if the floor is very dirty) to determine a person's cardiovascular health status and risk for future bad events?

Potentially. [...] However, there are caveats....

MORE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/20...ular-risk/

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