Exercise capacity and muscle strength and risk of vascular disease and arrhythmia in 1.1 million young Swedish men: cohort study
2015 (English)In: BMJ-BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL, ISSN 1756-1833, Vol. 351, h4543Article in journal (Refereed) Published
OBJECTIVE To investigate the associations of exercise capacity and muscle strength in late adolescence with risk of vascular disease and arrhythmia. DESIGN Cohort study. SETTING General population in Sweden. PARTICIPANTS 1.1 million men who participated in mandatory military conscription between 1 August 1972 and 31 December 1995, at a median age of 18.2 years. Participants were followed until 31 December 2010. MAIN OUTCOMES Associations between exercise capacity and muscle strength with risk of vascular disease and subgroups (ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and cardiovascular death) and risk of arrhythmia and subgroups (atrial fibrillation or flutter, bradyarrhythmia, supraventricular tachycardia, and ventricular arrhythmia or sudden cardiac death). Maximum exercise capacity was estimated by the ergometer bicycle test, and muscle strength was measured as handgrip strength by a hand dynamometer. High exercise capacity or muscle strength was deemed as above the median level. RESULTS During a median follow-up of 26.3 years, 26 088 vascular disease events and 17 312 arrhythmia events were recorded. Exercise capacity was inversely associated with risk of vascular disease and its subgroups. Muscle strength was also inversely associated with vascular disease risk, driven by associations of higher muscle strength with lower risk of heart failure and cardiovascular death. Exercise capacity had a U shaped association with risk of arrhythmia, driven by a direct association with risk of atrial fibrillation and a U shaped association with bradyarrhythmia. Higher muscle strength was associated with lower risk of arrhythmia (specifically, lower risk of bradyarrhythmia and ventricular arrhythmia). The combination of high exercise capacity and high muscle strength was associated with a hazard ratio of 0.67 (95% confidence interval 0.65 to 0.70) for vascular events and 0.92 (0.88 to 0.97) for arrhythmia compared with the combination of low exercise capacity and low muscle strength. CONCLUSIONS Exercise capacity and muscle strength in late adolescence are independently and jointly associated with long term risk of vascular disease and arrhythmia. The health benefit of lower risk of vascular events with higher exercise capacity was not outweighed by higher risk of arrhythmia.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 351, h4543
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-264629DOI: 10.1136/bmj.h4543ISI: 000361678800003PubMedID: 26378015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-264629DiVA: diva2:862729
FunderSwedish Research Council, 2007-5942 2010-1078 K2014-99X-22495-01-3