Inactivity 'biggest impact on heart disease risk in female over-30s'
Article date: 9 May 2014
Women aged over 30 need to pay particular attention to how much physical activity they do in order to manage their risk of developing heart disease, according to new research.
The study - published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine - has suggested a lack of exercise can dramatically impact on a female's chances of experiencing the condition in their lifetime.
The report's methodology was based around the four most common risk factors associated with heart disease in Australia - excess weight, high blood pressure, smoking and limited levels of exercise. According to the researchers, these catalysts account for more than half of all cases of the condition worldwide.
After identifying these influences, they then used data collected from over 32,000 Australian women to estimate how prevalent the characteristics were in the participants.
While smoking was found to be the most important contributing factor for women up to the age of 30, after this point and up until subjects turned 80 it was revealed that low physical activity levels were responsible for the higher levels of heart disease risk.
Furthermore, they called for more effort to be made by authorities to promote the benefits of exercise.
Concluding their report, the researchers stated: "Our data suggests that national programmes for the promotion and maintenance of physical activity, across the adult lifespan, but especially in young adulthood, deserve to be a much higher public health priority for women than they are now."
To emphasise this point, the study estimated that if every woman aged between 30 and 90 completed their recommended weekly quota of physical exertion, then more than 2,000 women's lives could be saved in Australia alone every year.
According to official figures, heart disease is responsible for 82,000 deaths in the UK every year - with one in five men and one in eight women dying as a result of the condition. Around 2.7 million people are estimated to be living with its symptoms across the country.