Free Test Can Predict Your Heart Disease Risk?
As men reach middle age, their chances of suffering a heart attack and other cardiovascular disease events increase. While going to the doctor for a regular visit can help uncover any potential risks, the time and cost to do so can be prohibitive. A recent Harvard study, however, shows that one simple and free test may reveal whether or not you have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s long been accepted that a healthy diet and regular exercise contribute to a person’s overall well being. The study focused on one aspect of fitness: push-ups. It found that middle-aged men who are regularly active and could do more than 40 push-ups showed a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Their push-up capacity was a free and simple way to determine their cardiovascular disease risk, which includes events such as coronary artery disease and heart failure. Instead of using typical tools such as an expensive treadmill and a time-consuming medical exam, middle-aged men can try to do 40 or more push-ups.
The authors of the study recommended that doctors do fitness assessments during routine medical exams for men, which could give indicators of cardiovascular disease risk. Unfortunately, these tests have not been proven to be effective for women or for men of different age groups and fitness abilities. The study was conducted over a 10-year period with over 1,100 male firefighters and the results were published earlier this year. Researchers found that 37 of those studied suffered from cardiovascular disease and all except one could not complete 40 or more push-ups. They concluded that those who could do 40 or more push-ups had a 96% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events. With this new data, doctors and their middle-aged male patients can now easily determine heart health risks.