5 years ago

Self-rated physical fitness and estimated maximal oxygen uptake in relation to all-cause and cause-specific mortality

J. Kulmala, M. Kivipelto, T. Ngandu, K. Borodulin, T. Laatikainen, A. Solomon
This study investigated the longitudinal associations of self-rated physical fitness and estimated maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. A total of 59 741 participants in the Finnish National FINRISK Study Cohort had data on self-rated physical fitness and covariates. A subsample of 4823 participants had estimated VO2max data. Follow-up ranged from 3 to 38 years. Associations of self-rated physical fitness and VO2max with mortality were analyzed using multivariate Cox proportional hazard models. The study showed that poor self-rated physical fitness was related to all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8-2.0) and mortality due to cardiovascular (HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.9-2.2), cerebrovascular (HR 1.9, 95% CI 1.6-2.2) and respiratory diseases (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.9-2.4), trauma (HR 1.7, 95% CI 1.3-2.0), infections (HR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3-2.7), dementia (HR 1.9, 95% CI 1.6-2.3), and cancer (HR 1.7, 95% CI 1.5-1.9). Coexisting higher age, physical inactivity, male gender, and severe chronic conditions further increased the risk. In men, higher VO2max was associated with a lower risk of lung cancer mortality (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7-0.96). Based on the results, self-rated physical fitness reflects a combination of unfavorable biological and lifestyle-related factors, which increase mortality risk. A simple question about perceived physical fitness may reveal at-risk individuals who would benefit from more intensive treatment of chronic conditions and other interventions aiming to promote better fitness and well-being.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/sms.12924

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