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Sitting Raises Women's Odds for Heart Failure
  • Robert Preidt
  • Posted November 24, 2020

Sitting Raises Women's Odds for Heart Failure

Too much sitting or lying down significantly increases older women's risk of hospitalization for heart failure, even if they get recommended amounts of physical activity, a new study warns.

"These findings are consistent with other studies confirming that people with more daily sedentary time are more likely to develop chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and premature death from heart disease and other causes," said study author Michael LaMonte, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the University at Buffalo in New York.

The researchers analyzed data from nearly 81,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 in the Women's Health Initiative Study. None had been diagnosed with heart failure at the start of that study.

During an average follow-up of nine years, just over 1,400 women were hospitalized due to heart failure. Compared with women who spent less than 6.5 hours a day sitting or lying down, the risk of heart failure hospitalization was 15% higher in women who spent 6.6-9.5 hours a day sitting or lying down, and 42% higher in women who spent more than 9.5 hours a day sitting or lying down.

Compared with women who sat less than 4.5 hours a day, the risk of heart failure hospitalization was 14% higher in those who sat between 4.6 and 8.5 hours a day, and 54% higher in those who sat more than 8.5 hours a day.

An important finding was that the link between more sitting and lying down and a higher risk of heart failure hospitalization was seen even in women who were the most active and did suggested amounts of exercise.

The study was published Nov. 24 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

"For heart failure prevention, we need to promote taking frequent breaks from prolonged sitting or lying down, in addition to trying to achieve guideline levels of physical activity, such as those recommended by the American Heart Association," LaMonte said in a journal news release.

More information

To learn about the causes and risks of heart failure, go to the American Heart Association.

SOURCE: Circulation: Heart Failure,news release, Nov. 24, 2020

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